The first song Sam Hadfield wrote for his new EP, “Finders Never Sing the Blues”, was a cry for help…addressed to himself. Sam released his first full-length album, entitled “Livin’ With Free Livin’ On My Mind”, back in 2013. “Livin’ With Free Livin'” was heavily influenced by old time, bluegrass, folk, and country blues. This time around Sam wanted to explore his rock ‘n’ roll influences while ensuring that the songs remained steeped in storytelling. That ambition resulted in a collection of songs about depression and unrealized potential alongside songs about an arsonist burning down a high school and a ringleader of the underground rock ‘n’ roll scene in late 1960s New York City.
The songs are all a bit different from one another but they share one thing in common: they symbolize a new life for the songwriter. Sam had been in a rut since he moved to Nashville by way of Austin, TX back in 2013. Seduced by the cliche of the tortured artist and living a life of excess, Sam was going down a dark path and what had previously been the only constant in his life, his music, was slipping out of the picture. He longed to get his life and his music back on track but he didn’t know how. After a particularly rough night, Sam took a break from his hard living ways and never looked back. “I hit my own version of bottom and had to be painfully honest with myself. I basically had to completely rebuild my worldview and my frame of mind.” Slowly he regained his clarity and songs like “Slip Through My Hands” and “Depression” began to emerge and help him understand his own struggles and what it takes to push through and begin to reach one’s own potential.
Influences from Sam’s teenage years, like The Velvet Undergound, as well as some of Hadfield’s newer influences, like Warren Zevon, found their way to this record. Working with Buffalo, NY native and roommate, Kyle Wierzba, at their house just outside of Nashville, the two (along with a group of amazing players) crafted the kind of record that they wanted to listen to. The limits of recording to an 8-track tape machine forced the musicians to capture a vibe while playing in the same room together.
From the longing sadness of “Fallin’ is a Feelin'” to the rock ‘n’ roll punch and rawness of “Dark Prince of the Underground”, to the rollicking boogie woogie of “Firebug Ronnie”, Hadfield delivers a genuine album that can be revisited time and time again.