Sands’s music falls squarely in the Americana tradition, lacing elements of her folk roots with country, blues, and jazz. She recently released her first CD, Rustler’s Moon.
When she was fourteen, her father purchased for her, from a hard-up U.C. Berkeley grad student, a Martin 000-18, on which she wrote her first song, and this is the guitar she still mostly plays. A professor of creative writing, and author of a novel and numbers of short stories, Sands brings this delight in language to her lyrics. In addition, her extensive work as a theatre artist—she’s an actor, director, and playwright—gives her a stylish yet deeply honest performing presence
Sands performs solo or with musicians she delights in gathering. Recent concerts include a speakeasy in upstate New York; an art gallery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; house concerts everywhere; and, in California, a ranch in Napa, a cafe in Sacramento, and at the historic Nevada Theatre in Nevada City, where she lives (when she’s not back east, teaching). Sands also hosts a bi-monthly “Songwriter Sunday” at the Nevada City Winery, which, in addition to an open mic and a featured songwriter, allows her to hone new tunes and play with a variety of stunning musicians. These include some of the musicians featured on her album—Randy McKean, Maggie McKaig, Luke Wilson, and Louis B. Jones—as well as other cherished musical comrades.