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You are driving in your car listening to the radio, hoping to hear the traffic report. A song comes on and you begin to battle primal urges. When the chorus hits, you lose the battle. You're singing at the top of lungs and playing air drums on your dashboard. In that moment, the bills do not matter. Your angry boss does not matter. For that single moment in your life, all is right in the world. You are singing and drumming on a cosmic stage somewhere far, far from the reality of life. When the song ends, you glance over and see a minivan full of terrified children. You don't care, because that song freakin' rocked. That was probably a Sister Hazel song.
The Gainesville, Florida five-piece band rose to the national spotlight on the back of their platinum selling sophomore album …Somewhere More Familiar. Mixing elements of edgy alternative rock, folksy roots rock, country, pop and southern rock into something completely all their own; they developed an enormous and dedicated fan base who call themselves "Hazelnuts". Their nearly a million Twitter followers will attest to the fact that Sister Hazel is a big deal.
Sister Hazel is that band you know, you just don't know you know them. Their music is the kind of music that gets in your head… and in your soul. It is nearly impossible to listen to some of their songs and sit still. Their hit single "All For You" was one of the most requested played songs on top forty radio of the late '90s. Their music has been featured in numerous feature films including "The Wedding Planner" and "10 Things I Hate About You".
Their newest album is Heartland Highway. It has been described by the band as "American roadtrip music" and I agree. It is the kind of album you can get lost in. You put it on and suddenly you are wandering off on waves of thought about lost love, what could have been and how far you have come. Before you know it, you have listened to the record from beginning to end three straight times and you wonder how many hours ago did you pass your exit.
With lyrics like "The saddest song I ever heard was the last song I wrote down for you…And with tears in my eyes and choke in my throat I held hope" , the song "The Saddest Song (Not Coming Home)" is my personal favorite. However, like most of their albums, there is something for everyone here.
After eight studio albums, Sister Hazel has become something bigger than "an indie band". Their intimate relationship (cultivated on the internet and through social media) has allowed them to do more than just produce hits. They have used their popularity and talent as a vehicle to call attention to worthy causes. They help people. They make a difference.
The band is named for Sister Hazel Williams, who runs a homeless shelter and works with the needy and the homeless. From the very beginning, they sent her money and used their fame to help call attention to her cause in any way they could (including benefit performances). As their fame grew, so did their charity. They rarely turn down the opportunity to do a benefit show for a worthy cause. They have helped numerous charities like Big Brothers and Big Sisters as well as start their own charity called Lyrics For Life. Lyrics For Life allows songwriters to raise money and awareness for cancer research, auctioning off handwritten lyrics and then donating that money to research and patient care charities. Sister Hazel is not just a great band, they are great people.
Sister Hazel last performed at The Greene in Beavercreek back in June 2009, and were such a hit, an invitation to return was inevitable. Sister Hazel will be performing another FREE concert at The Greene on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. Mark Cantwil and The Punch-Drunk Heroes and Cory Williams will be opening for the popular band. It isn't often you get to hear a night of quality live music for free. It is rarer still that one of those acts would be a nationally known platinum selling band with a rabid fan base. This show will definitely be worth checking out. You never know, you just might become a Hazelnut.
D.B. Buckner cut his teeth on the vibrant Atlanta music landscape and is a fifteen year veteran of the Southern Ohio music scene. Much of his youth was wasted banging his head in front of stacks of Marshall amps. Sure, he killed a lot of brain cells and his hearing is probably irreparably damaged, but he rocked hard and isn't that really all that matters? He has an eclectic music palette that includes Rock, Pop, Folk, Country, Rap and Americana. He now brings his experience and love of music to the masses. You can contact him on Twitter @cavemangamer.
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