FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who is Hem?
Who are you? Are you in the band?
Why do you have this site?
I have a different address for Hem's Official Site. I am confused.
What does the name Hem mean?
When is Hem releasing the song "Better Days?"
Where can I find lyrics?
I'm going to see Hem live and want to record their show. Is that okay?
You mean people have copies of live shows?! Where can I get one?!
Where can I see Hem perform live?
I went to a live show and want to tell people about it. What should I do?
Is there sheet music available for Hem's songs? Where can I learn how to play them?
Did I hear Hem in a TV commercial?
Is there any way I can get notified when you post news updates?
I still have questions, comments, or lavish gifts for you. Am I out of luck?


Who is Hem?

Hem is a band that creates dreamy, ethereal music. Some describe their sound as alt-country folk pop orchestrated lullabies for adults, but I just call it good, comforting, and timeless. The core band lineup includes Sally Ellyson (Vocals), Dan Messe (Piano, Glockenspiel, Celeste, Harmony Vocals), Gary Maurer (Guitar, Mandolin, Harmonica, Harmony Vocals), and Steve Curtis (Guitar, Mandolin, Harmony Vocals). The current recording/touring band also includes Mark Brotter (Drums, Percussion), Bob Hoffnar (Pedal Steel Guitar, Dobro), George Rush (Bass), Heather Zimmerman (Violin), and Dawn Landes (Harmony Vocals, Glockenspiel). Starting in late 2006 the band has recorded/toured with Sarah Beaty (Clarinet), Claudia Chopek (Violin), and Anna Reinersman (Harp). Catherine Popper played upright bass with Hem on their albums and on tour in 2004 and eariler. John Flaugher played upright bass on some 2004-2005 US dates, and Greg Pliska (who's arranged the orchestra on most album songs since Rabbit Songs) played keyboards on some 2005 UK dates.
Who are you? Are you in the band?

I am not in the band, much to everyone's benefit because I could probably lip sync just fine, but beyond that I would no doubt offend everyone's ears. My name is Christina, and I'm a fan. I discovered Hem by seeing them open for Beth Orton in Summer 2002. I bought Rabbit Songs as soon as Hem's set ended and have been smitten ever since.
Why do you have this site? Hem's Official Site rocks enough to keep the Internet happy!

The official site is great stuff, but I was shocked to find that it was the only Hem site on the web. A band this excellent should have glitzy web shrines! My web skills don't get much more glitzy than this, so this is my glitzy web shrine, launched in January 2004. I hope it fills in some gaps and is a good stop for the latest Hem news. While I sometimes get information from members of the band and from their management, this site is independent from Hem and I'm responsible its content, which I try to keep as timely and error free as possible.
Wait, I have a different address for Hem's Official Site. I am confused.

The band started out at rabbitsongs.com when it released its first album Rabbit Songs. At the end of August 2005 Hem added the more generically descriptive hemband.com to the collection. In early January 2006 hemmusic.com continued Hem's attempts to take over the web. The sites all mirror or redirect to each other, and I don't think it matters which one you visit. For a time, eveningland.com mirrored Hem's site too, but it doesn't anymore (nothing is there now but a blank page - I don't recommend even trying to visit it now).
Your mom isn't the only one who's confused by the band's name. What does the name Hem mean?

See the explanation on the meanings page.
When is Hem releasing the song "Better Days?"

People asked this question for years. It was originally heard as a snippet in a carnival-themed Liberty Mutual TV commercial in 2008. It was finally released as a full song right here on this very site in June 2016: see here.
I want to sing along! Where can I find lyrics?

Lyrics to songs on Rabbit Songs, Eveningland, No Word From Tom, and Funnel Cloud are included with the CD liner notes. You can also find all lyrics on my lyrics page.
I'm going to see Hem live and want to record their show. Is that okay?

Yes, it's okay. As told here at Hem's old message board (the new message board is here) [both boards are currently offline]:

Hem allows audiotaping at almost every live performance. At all taping authorized performances, tapers can tape from any ticketed seating location in the venue. Taping is limited to audio-only, using only microphones. Wireless receivers are strictly prohibited. Soundboard recordings are also prohibited. We sincerely appreciate all of our fans, so we ask that you please be considerate of those around you by not obstructing anyone else's view of the performance.

All recordings must be used for personal use or trading only. Selling or commercializing any recording is illegal and will jeopardize taping privileges for everyone. In addition to helping fans recreate the live experience, we hope tape trading will foster greater interaction within the fan community. The dissemination of eveningland.com "exclusive" mp3s by posting audio on web sites for streaming or downloading by the public, is not authorized.

You mean people have copies of live shows?! Where can I get one?!

You can look to download some shows in a variety of formats through archive.org. You may also be able to find some live shows via torrent at etree.org, but seeds aren't always available. Another option is to check the official message board [when it is back online] for people who have copies they're willing to trade or send for blanks and postage. (The old message board [currently offline] has more about trading than the new board.) You can also visit Tradingland, Geoff's list of Hem live shows. You can also check my Hem trading list, and if you have any shows you'd like to send/trade with me, please let me know.
Where can I see Hem perform live?

Check the tour page for Hem's current touring schedule. If you'd like to see them right now, visit the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour to stream free video of their performance on March 24, 2003, show #251 or the KCRW website to stream free video of their August 28, 2002 in-studio performance. There's also some live video available at the 2005 tour archive and the 2006 tour archive.
I went to a live show and want to tell people about it. What should I do?

One, you can post about it on the official message board [when it is back online]. Two, you can email me with the setlist, pictures or videos (or links to pictures or videos), or published show reviews, and I'll include the recap information in the tour archive. (Unless you don't want me to, in which case I'd still enjoy reading or seeing goodies about the show.) Whether the show is new or old, I'd be happy to hear from you. Having a tour archive is one of my continuing site goals, and it would be lovely of you to help me out since I'm still trying to figure out a way to see every show.
Is there sheet music available for Hem's songs? Where can I learn how to play them?

There is no commericially available sheet music. Straight from the source, Hem offered free copies of sheet music for the songs "Identical Snowflakes," "Eveningland" (long version on No Word From Tom), and "Half Acre," in December 2011 and January 2012. You can try emailing hemsheetmusic@gmail.com to see if you can still get a free copy (put the song title you want in the subject line.) You should also visit Rabbit Chords to see lovingly fan-derived chords for almost every Hem song.
Did I hear Hem in a TV commercial?

Yes, if it was a Liberty Mutual commercial or a Tiffany & Co. commercial. So far 7 Liberty Mutual ads have been released, each featuring a different Hem song. The insurance company began running television ads in June 2006 using the song "Half Acre" from the Rabbit Songs album, and that ad started running again in March 2009. In May 2007 a second ad started airing using the song "The Part Where You Let Go" from Hem's EP Home Again, Home Again. You can see the "Half Acre" ad online here at YouTube, and you can see the "Part Where You Let Go" ad at YouTube, 60 second version. Four more new songs and commercials started airing at the end of February 2008, the so-called Election ad with the song "Gently Down The Stream," Snowball ad with the song "The World Is Outside," Soccer ad with the song "Bird Song," and Wallet ad with the song "Things Are Not Perfect In Our Yard." With the start of the Beijing Summer Olympics in August 2008, a seventh ad started airing that's set at a carnival and uses the currently unreleased Hem song "Better Days." As for Tiffany & Co., in November 2010, an ad started appearing at least in online banner ads featuring Hem's version of the classic "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." Watch it here at YouTube.
Is there any way I can get notified when you post news updates?

It's your lucky day! You can join the All About Hem list or use the RSS feed. Check the Community page for more information.
I still have questions, comments, or lavish gifts for you. Am I out of luck?

Of course not! Email me with any questions, comments, or band news. Getting tips from people like you is one of the best ways for me to find all the Hem news that anybody would ever want to know. And I'll be happy to let anybody send me any lavish gifts at any time.