w/ special guest Francesca Tharpe
Friday, March 1st // FREE // ALL AGES // 7:30pm
Second Street Brewery – Rufina
2920 Rufina Circle
“When I perform, I visualize the song coming from my soul or core—shooting out with no filter,” Stephanie Hatfield says.
Adventurer, lover of the outdoors, hiker, former desert cross motorcycle state champion, gardener, amateur botanist, model, actress, bassist, guitarist, teacher, feminist and songwriter are all elements of Stephanie Hatfield’s diverse, abounding life. But what consistently gets everyone’s attention is her voice… A shameless romantic, she uses her rich vocal prowess as a smooth channel between her deep heart and the rest of the world. If the multi-dimensional dynamics of injecting “feeling” straight into music could be personified, Hatfield is a keen archetype.
After years of dedication to her craft, Hatfield has created an instrument that she can use without thinking and without analysis. At Michigan State University, she studied vocal performance extensively, from opera to jazz. But even before that, singing and dancing filled her childhood. She and her siblings held talent shows, which prepared her for her first solo performance at age eight, when she sang in front of 300 people in her family’s Presbyterian congregation. Soon, she was singing in three different church choirs, and began traveling for competitions and performances.
Hatfield grew up listening to Classical music and John Denver with her family, but they also sought out obscure folk artists from the East Coast and Midwest. “We found them by going to coffee shops, listening to live music, meeting the musicians, and hearing about someone else.” They became fans of Bryan Bowers, C.W. McCall, Walkin Jim Stoltz, Reilly and Maloney, Sally Rodgers and Claudia Schmidt, and they sang along to all of their songs.
Along with music, her family of six spent vacations reenacting the fur trading period of the northeastern woodland Indians. “We did everything ourselves. We’d birth sheep, shear them, dye the wool with dandelions and make a sash or a scarf. My dad used to tan deer hides and make moccasins out of leather. He was a sport shooter. He used a flint lock smooth bore muzzleloader, with powder and a ball.” At the same age that she sang in front of her Presbyterian congregation, Hatfield began shooting in muzzleloading competitions.
Toward the end of college, Hatfield traveled to and fell in love with New Mexico. There, powerful songwriting muses awaited. She moved to Santa Fe on her own with her cat, her snake, and her motorcycle, with no job lined up, and only $100 to her name after her first month’s rent. It didn’t take long before she started hanging out with singer/songwriters, including Boris McCutcheon and Mark Ray Lewis. Before that, songwriting had seemed “so impossible,” but they inspired her. “Boris McCutcheon would leave tidbits of songs on my answering machine, and taught me how to play some chords. I thought, ‘If he can do this, so can I.’”
Hatfield has since written countless songs and recorded a handful of excellent albums, an ever-evolving soundscape narrative of her passions and her life. She is consistently surrounded by a band of ace players, including husband Bill Palmer and her shows are captivating expositions of her natural elegance.
Recently, Hatfield went to see Claudia Schmidt play, and was so moved that she welled up with tears. “I went up to her afterwards and told her how much of an inspiration she was to me.” When she sees young girls in the audience at her gigs, it gives her reason to hope that she is paying that inspiration forward.
Stephanie Hatfield is a diverse, tireless anomaly. She cares deeply about social justice and environmental protection. A devout feminist, she wants for a world that genuinely recognizes and rewards women for their hard work. She lives for the outdoors. She loves her pets. She’s happiest with a cup of coffee, a pencil and her songbook. And she can tie it all in together…. Learn more at stephaniehatfieldmusic.com.