Sister Hazel’s Latest “Release”

Sep 23, 2009 8:00am

ABC News on Campus reporter Miles Doran blogs: Sister Hazel may be best known for their 1997 hit single "All For You."  Now, more than a decade later, they are still writing, recording, and touring with as much passion as ever.
Their new album “Release” hit stores last month scoring  #1 on the iTunes Rock Charts and #37 on the Billboard Top 200, the band's highest chart number ever. "When you put in a Sister Hazel record for the first time, there's a signature that you hear. You go 'there it is, there are those vocals, there's that slide guitar, it feels like home,'" lead singer Ken Block said. "It feels like magic dipped in chocolate…" When it came time to put together Release, the "rules" were changed a bit. Each band member wrote and crafted two to three songs, allowing each one of them to add their distinct fingerprint to the record. It was a big change for Block, who usually does most of the writing. "It gave some diversity and a new flavor to the record, but at the end of the day the five of us get behind our instruments and it sounds like Sister Hazel," Block said. The five rockers hail from the small, north Florida town of Gainesville, where most of the band members still live with their families. They recorded the vocals for Release in a hotel room at a Best Western off the Interstate. They know this town and this town knows them. Case in point: during an interview before a sold-out hometown show last weekend, guitarist and vocalist Drew Copeland could not seem to keep his fingers and eyes off his cell phone. Why? University of Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer was texting him, apologizing for not being able to make it to the show (the Gators were playing the Tennessee Volunteers the following day). Despite having sold more than a million records and being called hometown celebrities, the band insists success hasn't changed them. Copeland said he felt successful the moment he realized he could play music and pay the bills at the same time. "I've made music for a living for 19 years," says guitarist/vocalist Drew Copeland. "That's a joke! I mean, are you kidding me? How lucky can you get?"

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