WUFT News

Sister Hazel revisits roots, performs at Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

By on September 21st, 2012

Courtesy of SisterHazel.com

Members of Gainesville group, "Sister Hazel"

They started off small, playing outside of local bars and clubs, trading performance sets for beers. But Friday, 18 years after their formation, Sister Hazel returned to Gainesville to play at a larger venue, the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

The native Gainesville band kicked off the Phillips Center’s 20th season. Sister Hazel had not performed in Gainesville for three years prior to Friday’s performance, said lead singer and guitar player Ken Block.

“We were gonna do [a show] last year, but this is the anniversary for the Phillips Center, and we wanted to be a part of that, and they asked us to be,” Block said. “So we postponed for a little bit and here we are today.”

Sister Hazel formed in the early 1990s and is best known for its 1997 hit song, “All For You.” The song remains the band’s most successful single.

“[The song] caught on, and we went from a band in a trailer to our first platinum record,” Block said.

The band has about 120 live performances per year, Block said, but it never performs more than 10 live shows per month so that band members can spend time with their families. Four out of the five members are parents, and they all make an effort to put family responsibility first, Block said.

“It’s challenging but it’s just like everyone else with their job,” he said. “I’m never gone more than five days at a time, and everybody that knows me knows I’m either at Publix, soccer fields or picking up my kids from school.”

Although he’s busy spending time with his kids and wife, Block become a co-owner in a local coffee shop, CYM Coffee Co., located at 5402 NW 8th Ave. The coffee shop is named after one of Sister Hazel’s songs, “Change Your Mind.”

“It’s just a place where people in Gainesville can come together and get creative, connect the dots and unplug,” Block said.

Sister Hazel’s last studio album, Heartland Highway, was released in 2010. The band is writing new material and will return to the recording studio in a few weeks. A new album should be available in the spring, Block said.

“I love the evolution of the band,” he said. “It’s one of those evolutions when you go back to your roots and reinvent it. We all feel good about where things are going.”

Mina Radman edited this story online.


This entry was posted in Arts and Entertainment, University of Florida and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Stefanie

    In the interview, Ken says the biggest challenge is the balance between the band and family – I think that is his biggest success.

 

More Stories in Arts and Entertainment

Flat Land band performs on a stage being pulled by a bicycle in downtown Jacksonville during One Spark. The group used the moving performance to get attention and votes on their music education project.

Gainesville Locals Win $15,000 To Start Music Education Program

Local bands Flat Land and Bells and Robes and event company Phairground won $15,000 for music projects at the One Spark festival in Jacksonville. The group founded Future Music Makers Youth Enrichment Program, a project aimed at creating music programs in local schools.


NEEDS CAPTION. Bradley Williams / WUFT News

Club Closure A Blow To Local Flow Arts Community

Gainesville’s flow arts and electronic dance community respond to the closing of The Motor Room. The local club, which was best known for its dance nights, closed its doors after seven years.


Residents from all over north central Florida gather around the main stage to enjoy camping around musical performances in the Farm to Family Full Moon Festival. The Farm to Family Full Moon Festival celebrates and holds musical acts locally and regionally while fostering a community environment. Photo courtesy of Don Applebaum.

North Central Florida Music Festival Returns At New Location After Hiatus

After a three-year hiatus, Farm to Family Full Moon weekend music festival will return this year, just not in creator Don Applebaum’s backyard. Ellie Ray’s RV Resort & Lounge along the Santa Fe River will host the concert for local Florida musicians, vendors and residents.


Robert Yard performs a song for a toddler using a Lakota love flute at the Cedar Key Fine Arts Festival in Cedar Key, Florida. Yard held impromptu music lessons throughout the day for patrons that were curious about playing an instrument. (Photo by Sydnei Cartwright)

Patrons and Artists Pack Cedar Key for 51st Annual Fine Arts Festival

Cedar Key held its 51st annual Cedar Key Fine Arts Festival this past Saturday and Sunday, and experienced a large turnout from supporting counties and out-of-state visitors. The Festival showcased a number of different arts including jewelry, photography, wood making, and mixed media.


Tierra Libre band members Russell Perez (left), Amancio Perez and Silvestre Hernandez play Latin American music outside of Artisans’ Guild Gallery for visitors passing by on Friday, March 27, 2015. Tierra Libre has been a band for 5 years. (Photo by Sydney Dixon)

Artwalk Gainesville Gives Downtown an Artistic Feel

During Artwalk Gainesville, art and sculptures filled the streets around downtown Gainesville. The event provided visitors the opportunity to purchase different art and paintings while they visited the venues.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments