There are a few people in South Florida who believe everything and everyone found in the city of Gainesville, Florida are closely related to the University of Florida. Of course, that is far from reality. Gainesville is a thriving community filled with wonderful citizens. Also of interest is the cultural side of life in Gainesville, especially music. That is why I thought it was important, not only for the Gainesville community but also for the entire state of Florida, to feature the music group Sister Hazel. The band has enjoyed a long music career and appears to be positioning for several more years in the entertainment industry. The band continues to actively tour the country, and has just recorded their ninth studio album Lighter In The Dark. The album is scheduled for release February 2016. If you get a chance, you might want to preorder right now. For now, if you do not know anything about Sister Hazel, read this post and learn about one of Florida’s great musical treasures.
Originating from Gainesville, FL, Sister Hazel is comprised of five gifted, seasoned musicians whose well-spring of natural talent has been called "one of the Top 100 Most Influential Independent Performers of the last 15 years" by Performing Songwriter Magazine.
In the 20+ years that they have been recording and performing as a band, they have accomplished something that, for most artists, is only a dream: they have built a career with a solid foundation, seemingly impenetrable by the shifting sands of the record industry and the economy. From a musical perspective, the band has always had the same approach to the creative process. The engine that drives them is based on the fundamental principles that attracted the attention of a major label, garnered hit singles on the radio and endeared them to a legion of avid fans: well-crafted, hook-infused songs complimented by solid instrumentation and lush harmony vocals.
For much of the last decade, Sister Hazel has built an empire of 'Hazelnuts' through savvy marketing, hard work, and plain-old, undeniable talent. They also host two annual fan-centered events; their “Hazelnut Hang” in Charleston, SC and The Rockboat, a cruise featuring nonstop opportunities for fan / artist interaction. "The only way we can keep doing what we are doing is by having our fans continue to connect and support us," said Drew Copeland. Commercial pursuit’s aside, at the heart of this band is their desire to do good work. The band itself is named after a now-famous missionary from the Gainesville area who has dedicated her life to making a difference in the lives of her fellow humans. Sister Hazel the band is true to their namesake, having taken on two major charitable projects with Feed The Children and Lyrics For Life. Lyrics For Life is a charity founded by singer Ken Block as a memorial for his younger brother, Jeffrey. It unites musicians and celebrities for concerts and auctions to benefit cancer research and patient-care charities.
With their 9th studio album, Lighter In The Dark, in the works, the band is embracing their roots and their Florida Music influences wholeheartedly. This legacy has always caused the band’s music to defy genre classification and to blur the lines between rock, country, and southern rock. As their first studio album in more than 5 years, the guys are certainly eager to get the new music to their loyal fan base and to work the new music into their high energy live shows as they continue to tour the country in 2016.
The dream for all musicians is to find a way to use their gifts to support themselves and their families at the same time they are enriching the lives of others. For Sister Hazel, it's an honor to be living that dream every day.