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The Tracks

by Stephanie Hatfield

The Tracks finds Hatfield and her band once again at the top of their game. Hot Mess guitarist Bill Palmer pulls quadruple duty here, performing production, mixing, and recording tasks. Hatfield, a classically trained singer with a strong background singing gospel, country, rock, and jazz, continues to be a stellar vocal presence, and here she has tempered her studio tendency to push her voice out of a beautifully sustained note into an overly raw, rock ‘n’ roll scream – an effect that holds more weight for her in a live, outdoor setting anyway. Hints of Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” peek through the guitar phrasing of “Wrong Side of Dawn,” and Hatfield’s voice builds like Alannah Myles’ does in the 1988 hit “Black Velvet.” “Wrong Side of Dawn” is one of two rockin’ scorchers here. The second is the anthemic “Walls Are Not Mine,” which gathers all of Hatfield’s many influences into one of the best instrumental buildups – and album closers I have heard”
— Rob DeWalt, The New Mexican - Pasa Tiempo (Sep 16, 2011)

In just two years, Stephanie Hatfield and Hot Mess-with Palmer on rhythm guitar, Justin Lindsey on lead guitar, Matt McClinton on bass, and Andy Primm on drums-have amassed an enthusiastic following in Santa Fe and beyond, particularly among music fans who see the band’s power-chord grit as a much-needed counterpoint to the region’s ubiquitous Americana.

Hatfield’s throaty, expansive voice soars and dive-bombs through songs of love, disappointment, and cautious optimism. “Looking for something in this desert that’s alive,” she sings on “Blue Miles.” A common theme on the band’s self-titled 2010 CD that also surfaces on their new album, released this summer, is the cold-shower truth that often comes with the maturation of romantic love. “I thought I was the chosen,” she sings on “Suffer,” “but now I only take the blame.”
- April Reese, Trend Magazine - (Fall 2011)

"(They) illustrate an evolving creative practice. Hatfield and company offer uncompromised music and a willingness to explore fresh terrain. Wrong Side of Dawn and Be Enough exemplify the band’s non-committal to singular influences. The former has the markings of the bands signatures: guttural vocals belting lyrics that are slightly south of best intentions; broad strums blend with bent string textures and fully calculated rhythms. Think of Lucinda Williams where the particles of her madness pepper every step. Together with the songs “Shadow” and “Compare,” the latter reaches into the neighborhood of new wave syncopation; it is a different brand of rhythmic aggression than R&B/Blues rooted raw nerve. Synthesizers sweep and choreograph the songs with urban complexity providing fertile ground for Hatfield to stretch her legs into the cracks and crevices of the songs. The three particular songs offer a refreshing direction to the album and surprising new distance for the band.
- Gabe Gomez, Santa Fe. com - (Sep 05, 2011)

Stephanie Hatfield - Vox, Guitars & Percussion
Bill Palmer - Guitars, Vox, Percussion & Keys
* Bass & Drums on Be Enough, Sinful Paradise & She Loved You Hard
Justin Lindsey - guitars
Matthiew McClinton - Bass
Andy Primm - Drums

Kevin Zoernig - Keys on Leave Somehow, Compare & Walls Are Not Mine
Jason Aspeslet - drums on Fall Into Me
R Bruce Phillips - keys on Shadow
Shannon McNally - vox on Lonely One

All songs written by Stephanie Hatfield except
Be Enough & She Loved You Hard by Stephanie Hatfield & Bill Palmer
Fall Into Me, Sinful Paradise & Lonely One by Bill Palmer
Produced by Bill Palmer
Recorded & Engineered by Bill Palmer at Frogville
Mastered by Brian Lucey of Magic Garden Mastering