The Gainesville band, Sister Hazel, has been around since 1993. Their eclectic rock emerged after the grunge era of Nirvana and Alice and Chains. Their radio debut, All For You, came from their second album, Somewhere More Familiar, in 1997. The band is Ken Block and Andrew Copeland on vocals and guitar, Ryan Newell on lead guitar, Jeff Beres on bass, and Mark Troganowski on drums. This not-quite mainstream band survives independently, without the aid of a record label. They may not sell a ton of records but they are not giving it all up to a record company either, Newell said in an interview in 2004.

There's a big dust storm in the music business right now, Newell said, And I think we’re better off being on our own until the dust settles.

The band sponsors the annual Rock Boat, which drifted from Miami to the Cayman Islands in 2004. The boat draws around 2,000 people and a variety of artists including Edwin McCain and the Pat McGee Band. They also started The Rock Slope in Steamboat Springs, CO, a ski weekend for music lovers. In 2001, Ken Block started Lyrics for Life, an organization to raise money for cancer charities in the memory of his younger brother. It features acoustic performances and silent auctions of hand-written lyrics presented on artifacts, like Block's surfboard.

Sister Hazel is a socially conscious band who are capable of making music that reflects the many colors of life. Their most recent recording, Lift (2004), is Soulful and mellow, something that can just as easily inspire as it can sooth, Cass Rains and Daily O'Collegian wrote on the Oklahoma State University wire.

Throughout the past decade, they have evolved with each other and their maturing fans. In the ever more vapid world of rock stars, Sister Hazel are simply artists who define success by their own criteria. They avoid limitations by proving themselves as multifaceted artists, layered with many successes. Visit their Web site at:


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