Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson
Detroit-born, now Kentucky-based singer songwriter Stephanie Hatfield gives ‘tremendous’ thanks to the musicians, friends and family members who helped her with her fourth album release Out This Fell, which features ten original self-penned songs. Equally at home delivering her own material as channeling the likes of Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin (a quick peek through her YouTube videos is testament to this), Stephanie commits to serving up full-bodied performances, backed by a small ‘family’ of musicians who are only too aware of what she’s looking for, notably the omnipresent Bill Palmer.
With a powerful delivery throughout, each song is inflected with either an indie rock or country twang sensibility, each fuelled by raw emotion, both in terms of the writing and performance. If “Michigan” and “River Still Runs” demonstrate Stephanie’s sensitive Sunday morning side, then “Day or Decades” and the Spanish-flavoured “Lucy” are probably more suitable for Saturday night; there’s even a bit of mariachi ingrained in the lilting “Not Her”. If we needed proof of Stephanie’s classical training though, we need look no further than “Gone Gone Gone”, in which the singer flexes her operatic chops, if only for a moment.
Choice Track: Not Her (NSV 497)