Sister Hazel

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Sister Hazel
Sister Hazel performing in Orlando, Florida, in 2007
Sister Hazel performing in Orlando, Florida, in 2007
Background information
OriginGainesville, Florida, US
Years active1993–present
MembersKen Block
Jett Beres
Andrew Copeland
Ryan Newell
Mark Trojanowski
WebsiteOfficial website

Sister Hazel is an American alternative rock band from Gainesville, Florida, whose style blends elements of jangle pop, folk rock, classic rock, and southern rock.[3][6]


Sister Hazel formed in Gainesville, Florida, in 1993 and was named for Sister Hazel Williams, a local missionary who ran a homeless shelter.[7] The group released its self-titled debut album in 1994, through its independent record label Croakin' Poets. Shortly after its release, singer/guitarist Ryan Newell and drummer Mark Trojanowski joined the band. Newell played on the album before officially joining the group.

The band's second album, ...Somewhere More Familiar was released in 1997 and sold approximately 30,000 copies through its initial pressing, prompting Universal Records to sign the band. Universal re-released ...Somewhere More Familiar in late 1997.[8] A single from the album, "All For You" hit No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains the band's most successful single.

The band's third album Fortress was released in 2000 by Universal. The band worked with producers Mike Clink (Guns N' Roses, Mötley Crüe, Heart), Richie Zito (Cheap Trick), and Paul Ebersold (3 Doors Down).[8] The album featured minor pop hits "Champagne High" and "Change Your Mind." The album's title track was featured as the outro of Valparaiso University radio station WVUR's weekly Saturday night program during the 2000-01 academic year.

In 2003, after the band split from Universal, they released their fourth studio album, Chasing Daylight, on the Sixthman label and toured throughout the year to promote the album. The band's internet presence emerged during this time period, and hardcore fans dubbing themselves "Hazelnuts" studied setlists, shared bootleg concert recordings, and initiated a promotion scheme with the band through their official website. 2003 also saw the simultaneous release of Live*LIVE, a two-disc live album, and A Life in the Day, a live DVD.

In 2004, Sister Hazel released their next studio album Lift. Songs from Lift were re-recorded for 2005's Lift: Acoustic Renditions, an EP of studio acoustic takes on five of the songs, offered exclusively through Apple's iTunes Store. In July 2005, the Sister Hazel album was re-issued again by Sixthman, in response to claims that the album had become difficult to find in stores.

Sister Hazel then promoted their album, Absolutely, which was released on October 10, 2006. The band also continued to tour and hold annual fan gathering events, The Rock Boat and The Rock Slope. Absolutely is the band's highest-charting album on the Billboard charts following Fortress and it received 4 out of a possible 5 stars from Allmusic, a tie with Fortress's score.

On June 5, 2007, Sister Hazel released a "hybrid" album entitled BAM! Volume 1. It contains B-sides from the Absolutely recording sessions and some from previous albums.

Sister Hazel also released a holiday album called Santa's Playlist on September 25, 2007.

On February 9, 2008, Sister Hazel performed a live concert at Daytona International Speedway for the Budweiser Shootout.

Sister Hazel released a live acoustic album on June 17, 2008, entitled Before the Amplifiers, Live Acoustic on Croakin' Poets/Rock Ridge Music. The record features sixteen tracks, including the band's hits, fan favorites, and live concert staples, all in a stripped-down, acoustic format. The album was recorded on January 12 at Nickel & Dime Studios in Atlanta (other bands who have recorded there in the past include Indigo Girls, The B-52's, Shawn Mullins) in front of 100 lucky fans who were chosen at random from more than five thousand entries.

At the July 18, 2008, concert at Wolf Trap Farm Park, drummer Mark Trojanowski took paternity leave for his newborn child. Former Vertical Horizon and current Doobie Brothers drummer Ed Toth played in his place.

On July 9, 2009 Ford Motor Company announced a collaboration with Sister Hazel to promote the company's new Sync Technology, which is available on a number of Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles. The band has been chosen to be the face of the company's "Sync My Ride" website,[9]

The band released their seventh studio album of original songs (tenth album overall) on August 18, 2009. The album, entitled Release, contains 12 tracks and is on the Rock Ridge Music label.[10] On the day of release, Release was the number one album on iTunes.[11]

The band entered the studio less than six months after releasing Release and began work on their new album, Heartland Highway. The album was released on October 12, 2010, and featured "Stay a While" as the first radio single.

The band's ninth studio album, Lighter in the Dark, was announced in the later part of 2015. It is their first country album, and was released on February 19, 2016.[12] The lead single from the album is "We Got It All Tonight". Two songs, "We Got It All Tonight" and "Karaoke Song", which features country artist Darius Rucker, were made available for instant download for those who pre-ordered the album.[13]

Dr. Hazel Kirkland Williams, the band's namesake, died on July 16, 2016, at the age of 91 in Gainesville.[14]

The band released an EP entitled Water on February 9, 2018, which featured the lead single "Roll On Bye".

It was announced, less than a week after the release of Water, that the band have begun recording their next EP (a follow-up to Water) in Nashville. The next EP Wind was released on September 7, 2018. The next EP in the "Elements" series, Fire, was released on February 8, 2019. The final installment in the "Elements" series, Earth, was released on September 6, 2019. Each of the EPs in the series included a portion of a song at the end, intended to be linked together in a future release. On November 26, 2019, all the EPs were combined into a single release, Elements. The 25-song, double-disc set includes the final "Elements" song pieced together.

Use in media[edit]

The band has had music featured in several movies and soundtracks including Major League: Back to the Minors, The Wedding Planner, Clay Pigeons, Bedazzled and 10 Things I Hate About You. Sister Hazel also appear on the Fleetwood Mac tribute album, Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours with their cover version of "Gold Dust Woman". In 1999, they recorded a cover of "September Gurls" for the Big Star tribute album, Big Star, Small World. However, the track was not included when the album was released in 2006. The song "Where Do You Go" was featured on Scrubs (Season 6, Episode 4, "My House").

Musical style[edit]


While some of the band members feel like their sounds are simply Sister Hazel,[15] Ryan Newell has cited Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Page, Van Halen, and Eric Clapton as his influences.[16] The band has certainly been influenced by other southern rock and folk music.[17]


Lyrics for Life is a non-profit organization for the benefit of pediatric cancer.[18] Sister Hazel had a benefit concert to support the Sarah Jones Scholarship Fund.[19]

Band members[edit]

  • Ken Block – lead vocals, acoustic guitar (1993–present)
  • Jett Beres – bass, harmony vocals (1993–present)
  • Andrew Copeland – rhythm guitar, vocals, keyboards (1993–present)
  • Ryan Newell – lead and slide guitar, harmony vocals (1993–present)
  • Mark Trojanowski – drums (1993–present)

Touring musicians

  • Dave LaGrande – keyboards, saxophone (2012–present)


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Chart positions Certification
US Country
US Indie
US Rock
1994 Sister Hazel
  • Released: 1994, 1997, 2005
  • Label: Croakin' Poets, Universal, Sixthman
1997 ...Somewhere More Familiar
  • Released: February 25, 1997
  • Label: Croakin' Poets, Universal
2000 Fortress 63
2003 Chasing Daylight
  • Released: February 4, 2003
  • Label: Croakin' Poets/Sixthman
177 6
2004 Lift
  • Released: August 24, 2004
  • Label: Croakin' Poets/Sixthman
184 20
2006 Absolutely
  • Released: October 10, 2006
  • Label: Adrenaline/Wandering Hazel
86 4
2009 Release
  • Released: August 18, 2009
  • Label: Croakin' Poets/Rock Ridge
37 3 8
2010 Heartland Highway
  • Released: October 12, 2010
  • Label: Croakin' Poets/Rock Ridge
80 19 33
2016 Lighter in the Dark
  • Released: February 19, 2016[25]
  • Label: Croakin' Poets
79 4 6 12
2020 Elements
  • Released: April 3, 2020[26]
  • Label: Croakin' Poets
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.


Year EP details Chart positions Sales
US Country
US Indie
US Rock
2018 Water
  • Released: February 9, 2018[13]
  • Label: Croakin' Poets
96 9 2 14
2018 Wind
  • Released: September 7, 2018[27]
  • Label: Croakin' Poets
46 11
2019 Fire
  • Released: February 8, 2019[13]
  • Label: Croakin' Poets
48 5
2019 Earth
  • Released: September 6, 2019[30]
  • Label: Croakin' Poets
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Other releases[edit]

  • 99.3 The Zone – Collector's Edition 1997 – 1997
  • "Let Your Love Flow" – Clay Pigeons Soundtrack – 1998
  • Live*LIVE – Live Double Album – March 2003
  • A Life in the Day – Live DVD – March 2003
  • Chasing Daylight – Acoustic EP – August 2004 (downloadable exclusive)
  • Lift: Acoustic Renditions – April 2005 (downloadable exclusive)
  • BAM! Volume 1 – June 5, 2007 (B-Sides Album)
  • Santa's Playlist – September 25, 2007 (Holiday Album)
  • Before the Amplifiers, Live Acoustic – Live Album – June 17, 2008
  • 20 In '10 Collection – Compilation Album – February 8, 2010 ( downloadable exclusive)
  • Threeve – EP – June 1, 2010 (iTunes downloadable exclusive)
  • 11411 – Compilation/Sampler – January 3, 2011 ( downloadable exclusive)
  • This Is Gator Country – 2011 (featured on a special compilation CD titled "You're in Gator Country," sold exclusively by the University of Florida Athletic Association)
  • 20 Stages – Live Double Album [CD or Limited Edition Vinyl LP] – October 7, 2014
  • 20 Stages – Live DVD – October 7, 2014
  • Live From Daryl's House Club – Live CD – December 9, 2016
  • Live From Daryl's House Club – Live DVD – December 9, 2016
  • Before the Amplifiers 2 – Live Album – December 10, 2021


Title Year Chart positions Album
US Alt US Main US Adult 40 US AC AUS
"All for You" 1997 11 39 1 16 50 ...Somewhere More Familiar
"Happy" 1998 37 31 27
"Change Your Mind" 2000 59 5 Fortress
"Champagne High" 2001 22
"Beautiful Thing"
"Your Mistake" 2002 27 Chasing Daylight
"Life Got in the Way" 2003 36
"Just What I Needed" 2004 Lift
"World Inside My Head"
"Mandolin Moon" (featuring Shawn Mullins) 2006 26 Absolutely
"This Kind of Love" 2008
"Take a Bow" 2009 Release
"Vacation Rain" 2010
"Stay Awhile" Heartland Highway
"We Got It All Tonight" 2015 Lighter in the Dark
"Roll on Bye" 2018 Water
"Small Town Living" Wind
"Here with You" 2019 Fire
"Good for You" Earth


  1. ^ Whitake, Sterling. "Sister Hazel Find 'Something to Believe In' for Lyric Video [Exclusive Premiere]". Taste of Country. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  2. ^ "Sister Hazel does it for the fans". The Daily Gamecock. October 16, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Sister Hazel - Biography".
  4. ^ Durchholz, David (March 26, 2003). "Critics' Picks: Sister Hazel with the Wil Seabrook Band". The Riverfront Times. Retrieved July 25, 2016. The very definition of a mainstream jangle-pop band, Sister Hazel belongs in the company of Counting Crows, Third Eye Blind, Edwin McCain, Hootie and the Blowfish and matchbox twenty.
  5. ^ Sitt, Pam (August 18, 2000). "It's a Big Freakin' Deal; All-day concert provides a little variety with six acts at Cheney Stadium". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 25, 2016. Acoustic jangle-pop band Sister Hazel achieved commercial success with its 1997 hit, "All For You."
  6. ^ Denton, Lisa; Courter, Barry (May 30, 2016). "Off the Couch: Nightfall goes big with before and after parties". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved July 25, 2016. They've had hits with "All for You" and "Change Your Mind," and their music blends Southern rock, classic rock and folk rock, but my favorite description of Sister Hazel called them a jangle pop band. "Jangle" — that's a good word.
  7. ^ Ken Block Songfacts interview. Songfacts. Retrieved June 5, 2008.
  8. ^ a b Sister Hazel Taps Three-Headed Monster For "Fortress". MTV. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  9. ^ Sister Hazel 'Sync's' with Ford. Billboard (magazine). Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  10. ^ Sister Hazel to Release "Release". Alternative Addiction. Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  12. ^ "Lighter in the Dark".
  13. ^ a b c "Lighter in the Dark by Sister Hazel on Apple Music". February 19, 2016.
  14. ^ ""Sister Hazel" Williams, Gainesville Band's Namesake, Dies at 91". July 17, 2016.
  15. ^ Hauser, Alicia. "Meet Sister Hazel's Bassist, Jeff Beres". Naples Illustrated. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  16. ^ Roberts, Dave. "INTERVIEW WITH SISTER HAZEL'S RYAN NEWELL". Guitar Site. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  17. ^ "Review: Sister Hazel, ...Somewhere More Familiar They also made a bunch of awesome records". Consumable Online. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  18. ^ "About Us". Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  19. ^ Denton, Lindsey (August 18, 2014). "Sister Hazel Charity Concert at Buckhead Theatre". The Patch. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  20. ^ a b c "Sister Hazel Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 12, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Sister Hazel Chart History: Top Country Albums". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 12, 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Sister Hazel Chart History: Independent Albums". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 13, 2018.
  23. ^ a b "Sister Hazel Chart History: Top Rock Albums". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 13, 2018.
  24. ^ "American certifications – Sister Hazel – ...Somewhere More Familiar". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  25. ^ "Lighter in the Dark by Sister Hazel". February 19, 2016.
  26. ^ "Elements by Sister Hazel". April 3, 2020.
  27. ^ Lisa Konicki (July 20, 2018). "EXCLUSIVE: Sister Hazel Premieres "Small Town Living" From Upcoming EP "Wind"". Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  28. ^ Bjorke, Matt (September 24, 2018). "Top 10 Country Albums Sales Chart: September 24, 2018". Roughstock. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  29. ^ Bjorke, Matt (February 20, 2019). "Top 10 Country Albums Chart: February 20, 2019". Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  30. ^ "Sister Hazel Announces New EP, Earth Set for Release September 6, 2019". July 23, 2019. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  31. ^ "Discography Sister Hazel". Retrieved October 14, 2022.

External links[edit]