National Steel
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National Steel

Band Rock Americana


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Internet Reviews"

"[Mike's] voice has character to it that really makes the songs. Nice playing and production..."

"...excellent job. You [guys] have a gift of writing very good songs. In my opinion, there is just something about the way you write that stands out. [The] vocals and lyrics seem to easily pull the listener in and give you a good feeling..."

"your talent is multi-level....singer, songwriter, musician..."

"I think [he's] related to Dylan..."

"[the record] has your signature all over it, love your style and songwriting."

" have quite the eclectic musical interests..."

"[Mike] has what some would kill for.. a unique and identifiable voice..."

"distinctive voice, intelligent lyrics, and a unique style..."

"I don't know how you manage to be so productive without suffering a loss of quality."

"[National Steel] sounds excellent or what i would call ready for radio... you have a good chance of making something happen..."

"I wish I had half your voice, you should be getting paid, killer."

"...excellent performances, top-notch songwriting..."

"...your productivity is quite astonishing... as usual, awesome lyrics."

"Something's wrong with my radio - I can't get these tunes."

"[National Steel is] seriously talented... I could easily hear making it big on college radio... Your sound reminds me a lot of the Jayhawks and the Uncle Tupelo/Son Volt/Wilco gang; and that's great company to be in."

"All [the] songs have your signature that is for sure."

"Love your original style and sound man. Easy flowing and great lyrics that all work well together. New York City!?"
"I can see [Mike] playing Bruce Springsteen in a game of poker and CLEANING HIS CLOCK to where all he has left to bet... is the E Street band... and [he] would win THAT TOO. Please toss Bruce some spare change as ya drive by in his car. Right ON!"

- GuitaristWorks


National Steel - full length CD July 2005

Songs from the record are being played on:


Feeling a bit camera shy


National Steel's sound finds its roots in the late 60's pop influenced, heavily melodic, songwriting of founding member Mike Hattem. Mike has been playing guitar and writing songs since his late teens. In 2004 Mike put together a modest home studio where he wrote, played, and produced the cd, "National Steel." The CD's influences are based on late 60's pop and the late 90's music like Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, and The Jayhawks that drew from the earlier genre and expanded it.

"When I hear bands nowadays and compare them to the bands I grew up listening to, like The Beatles, The Byrds, etc. the thing that stands out is how important the songwriting is. It seems like a lot of bands consider the songs incidental - the songs are just their vehicle to rock out... I wanted to make a record where the most important things were the songs themselves. Every song on the album lens itself to an acoustic guitar and that was the test I put the songs through," Mike says.

After recording the CD, Mike was offered a non-exclusive distribution deal with the Los Angeles based indie label, Statue Records. Mike went about putting together a band to help him play the music and promote the CD. After placing a couple of musician want ads, along came Rich Stillwell. Another local musician, Rich was looking to explore his interest in roots music and it seems that National Steel came along at the right time. It didn't take long before Chris DiMaulo came in on drums and Ryan Townsend solidified the lineup on lead guitar.

Anyone that hears the cd can instantly hear the influences in Mike's songwriting. "It's a fine line to walk in songwriting... you want to let your influences shine through and guide you but at the same time if you let it take over your writing the songs become derivative." Mike considers himself "part of a long line of American songwriters who take roots music and make it their own."

The final piece of the puzzle came through another ad and the band was contacted by the drummer, Chris DiMaulo. The band has taken the songs to a different level than what is heard on the CD.

"I knew when I brought other guys in, the songs would change. I am not a dictator when it comes to my songs. If somebody has a better idea than me, we go with it. That's what bands are. Besides, I didn't want us to be the kind of band that goes out and plays the songs exactly like the record. Even though the songs are tightly arranged, we are finding ways, as a band, to stretch out within
them. I don't want to strangle the songs, they have to breathe."

With the official release due in early July, National Steel is already booked for shows in NYC/NJ and is looking to fill out their schedule. As for the future, Mike says,"I feel really good about this band. We all get along really well as friends and there are no rock star egos. I think that, with hard work, there's nothin this band can't do."

National Steel is ready to play the music they love and breathe it wherever ears can hear.