Special to the Democrat
Tim Hamilton is a musician and singer/songwriter. He and his band, Slight of Hand, perform cover songs and some original material at venues throughout Northern California.
That doesnÕt seem all too unique, until you find out that Hamilton is an attorney by trade, and his band has been supported and assisted by the musical talents of legendary Tesla guitarist Frank Hannon.
Interested? You should be.
HamiltonÕs story and that of Slight of Hand is an interesting one. An attorney practicing law in El Dorado County, and a friend of a legal community, Hamilton draws a number of parallels between performing music in front of an audience, and representing oneself in front of a jury of peers.
ÒWhen you think about it,Ó Hamilton said, ÒItÕs actually very similar to playing music. I believe that what is very similar to performing up on stage is taking on a jury of your peers. When youÕre up on stage, itÕs just you expressing yourself, trying to get the audience to feel what it is youÕre expressing. During trial, that audience is the jury, and it is still you up there expressing your statement and trying to get them to see what youÕre expressing.Ó
Hamilton plays with professional musicians Cameron West, Dave Schafer, Marcel Eaton and Mike Gunn in Sleight of Hand Ñ and the groupÕs style of covers and originals has a sound that ranges from Rush, Yes, ACDC and the Doors all the way to Dishwalla, Duran Duran, the Police, Slayer and Iron Maiden.
Yes, quite a wide ranging mix of sounds Ñ but one that Hamilton, Schafer, Eaton, Gunn and West can accomplish as friends that are talented and Ñ perhaps more importantly Ñ doing it for the love.
Hamilton credits having positive support groups and great friends as a key to success in music and life, and also finds similarities between the music community and legal community in El Dorado County.
ÒItÕs crucial to surround yourself with peers and friends who are as driven as you are,Ó Hamilton said. ÒAnd it would just be wrong of me to not give a shout out to the legal community up here in this county and say how wonderful it is.
ÒThereÕs just an outstanding community of professionals practicing law up here. In every form of law up here, there are people who really care about what they do, and they are dedicated to their cases and to their colleagues, and it makes for a positive legal community that youÕd be hard pressed to find anywhere else.Ó
When it comes to the music side of friendships, Hamilton has built one with TeslaÕs Frank Hannon Ñ a man whoÕs friendship Hamilton cherishes and whose musical guidance has helped push Slight of Hand and HamiltonÕs solo work into the realm of realities.
Their meeting was peculiar as well. Hannon had intended to seek legal assistance from one of HamiltonÕs coworkers, and as Hannon was walking down the hall, Hamilton remembered him from back when they were kids playing in two different Sacramento area bands, Hamilton in Shanghai and Hannon in City Kid Ñ and decided to ask and see if Hannon was available or willing to help him get some of his recordings going.
ÒIt was really interesting how we ran into each other a few years back,Ó Hannon said. ÒI was in his office building seeking some legal services from one of his colleagues, and it was kind of a funny thing because on one hand I was seeking to retain legal services in one room of this hallway Ñ and in the other thereÕs Tim seeking to retain my music services in another!Ó
From there, Hannon aided Hamilton in recording some of Sleight of HandÕs work, and also worked towards producing HamiltonÕs solo record.
Currently Slight of Hand is playing shows all over the state, with a performance at PJÕs Roadhouse, 5641 Mother Lode Drive, between El Dorado and Shingle Springs, Saturday at 9 p.m. The group is on the bill with the Grumpy. There is a $5 cover charge.
For more information about the line up at PJÕs call 530 626-0336.
To learn more about Slight of Hand check out myspace.com/slightofhandmusic.