A book cover of Soundcheck by Elisa Grajeda-Urmston and Tamara Adams
Elisa Grajeda-Urmston & Tamara Adams
Elisa Grajeda-Urmston & Tamara Adams
A book cover of Soundcheck by Elisa Grajeda-Urmston and Tamara Adams


A siren’s tantalizing whisper about road rage and romance; the lure and lilt of it, the need and necessity to create and devour the musical mystery thrills and throbs on these pages… read it and eat it with a greasy spoon in a neon diner at 3 AM in the afterglow of a boisterous gig somewhere in the middle of America. I dare you.
–Pamela DesBarres, author of I’m With the Band, and Take Another Little Piece of My Heart: A Groupie Grows Up.
In words and images as gritty and earthbound as they are iridescent and immutable, Elisa Grajeda-Urmston and Tamara Adams lay bare the reality at the heart of the making art dream. This is what hitting the road and creating for a living tastes and smells and feels like. This is what doing that costs. This is why – if the magic is in you – you’ll probably do it anyway.
–Glen Hirshberg, author of Good Girls, and
Motherless Child

I find myself living in many sentences of these poems. They are reminders of where I’ve been, what I’ve felt and where I’m going and what I’m going to feel. Nowadays, the rocking of the bus wheels and the roar of the engine has been replaced by a high speed ceiling fan to help me sleep. The tour bus has been replaced with an RV, and my band has been exchanged for five dogs and a bird. I have no itinerary, just a lot of blue highways and a husband who is a rockin’ guitarist. Elisa Grajeda-Urmston has written this book for the sisterhood of gypsies who rock.
–Jann Browne, American county singer; her albums are Tell Me Why and
Bucking Around

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Elisa Grajeda-Urmston & Tamara Adams
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The Author

Elisa Grajeda-Urmston & Tamara Adams

Elisa Grajeda-Urmston is a Mexican American poet who was born and raised in Southern California, and graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a Masters Degree in Fine Arts/Poetry. She has worked in the music industry for nearly 40 years as a singer/guitarist for bands that played all over the American Southwest in venues such as The Luxor, The Golden Nugget, Disney, The Crazy Horse Saloon, and The Excalibur. Her poetry is informed by the music and lyrics of the songs she has spent a lifetime performing, as well as the experiences only an itinerant musician can know.

Currently, her work still includes musical performance, but she also teaches English and creative writing at both VictorValley Community College and Barstow Community College in the Mojave Desert. She also works as a vocal coach and is a writer and editor for HD Living Magazine. She is also the in-house editor for the Mexican American Baseball book series, available on Arcadia Press.

Her own work has been featured in Xicano Poetry Daily, Whistling Fire, Palabra Magazine, The Pacific Review, and Tin Cannon.