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What Others Are Saying

Singer/songwriter and guitarist Trina Hamlin was born in the frigid city of Minneapolis, MN. She first began her study of music on the piano when she was a small child. By first grade she was entering local talent contests, winning often. In her teens she continued to perform, gaining experience and polishing her skills. After high school was over, she went on to earn a degree in Professional Music from Boston's Berklee College of Music. By this point in her life, she was often working with bands as a background singer and lending her voice to commercials. Not long after graduating from college, Hamlin moved to New York City, determined to make it with her musical career. She became a member of a band called Blue Leaves, where she supplied vocals and wrote some of the songs the group used. Though she worked hard with whatever band she was with at the time, Hamlin really wanted to try her chances at a professional solo career.

In 1998, she finally released her first solo album, titled Alone. "Keeping Me Whole," "Half Blind," "Angel," and "Flower Days" are some of the folk-rock numbers on this debut. A few of her songs were featured on the popular prime-time show Dawson's Creek. Hamlin's second album, Living Room, was released in 2000 and carries tracks like "Can't Put My Finger on It," "Discontent," "Down to the Hollow," and "A Second Thought to Why." Much of Hamlin's music is more than folk-rock. Fans will catch hints of styles from R&B, to country, to blues in works by this talented artist

-- Charlotte Dillon, All Music Guide

Trina Hamlin has jokingly said that the blues were created in her native Minnesota because that's where the Mississippi River begins. She's only kidding, of course -- the New York-based singer/songwriter knows that the blues were born in the Deep South and eventually made their way north (unlike the Mississippi River, which flows from north to south). But one thing Hamlin is quite serious about is the importance of blues feeling. Living Room isn't a blues CD -- Hamlin's music is introspective pop/rock and roots rock, but it's introspective pop/rock and roots rock with folk influences and a wealth of blues feeling. You don't have to embrace a 12-bar format to know how enriching the feeling of the blues can be, and Hamlin demonstrates that she is well aware of that fact on "Wounded Knee," "A Thought," and other earthy offerings. Blessed with an impressive range and a big, robust voice, the soulful Hamlin often brings to mind Melissa Etheridge -- another singer/songwriter who has often taken a very bluesy, gritty approach to pop/rock and roots rock. Not that Hamlin is trying to emulate Etheridge or anyone else; she's her own person, and her lyrics usually sound personal even though she isn't innovative or groundbreaking. Generally solid and occasionally excellent, Living Room makes one hope that Hamlin will become better known in the pop/rock world.

-- Alex Henderson, AMG Expert Review

Minnesota-bred Trina Hamlin could never have imagined that   she'd be writing songs for Dawson's Creek when she grew up.   The singer-songwriter, who graduated from Berklee College of Music, recently joked about being a sellout while simultaneously being too broke to pay Manhattan rent. Hamlin placed two zingy pop nuggets on episodes of the ubiquitous teen series.  "Even Now," a raucous John MellencampĀ­flavored love song, is the kind of tune that could shred your heart if you heard it on the radio during a nasty breakup. This sinister emotionalism is also present in "In My Life," one of the year's best, most unadulterated pop songs. For those wishing for a wider spectrum of emotions than Dawson et al. can offer, try Hamlin's most recent CD, Living Room (ModMusic Records), where folk, rock, blues and gorgeous melody-driven choruses converge. Onstage at the Newport Folk Festival a couple of years ago, Hamlin moved evenly between giddy rockers and bluesy acoustic fare. Tonight's show should provide a great opportunity to hear an intriguing and muscular take on the unplugged genre.

-- Karen Iris Tucker, Time Out New York

Firey New York City-based singer-songwriter Trina Hamlin performs at Juna's Cafe Saturday.  With a powerhouse voice, sizzling harmonica chops and a gift for blending blues, folk, pop and rock, Hamlin has what it takes to break into the musical mainstream.

So far, she's off to a good start.  Hamlin has had three songs featured on the television show "Dawson's Creek," and has appeared on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" and at the Newport Folk Festival.  Hamlin's latest album, "Living Room," is one of the more impressive albums I've heard in the past year, especially with catchy songs such as "Wounded Knee," "In My Life" and "A Thought."

I can't wait to hear what she sounds like in a live setting.

-- Jim Catalano, The Ithaca Journal