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Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 8:00 PM CDT (6:00 PM Doors)
with Marty Casey (Lovehammers) and Matt Hoffer (Holding Mercury)
Saturday, Mar 24, 2012 8:00 PM CDT
Viper Alley, Lincolnshire, IL
21 years and over
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Sister Hazel's creative train just keeps rolling. Last year's well-received "Release" reached the band's highest ever spot (#37) on the Billboard Album Charts, topping even their platinum disc "Somewhere More Familiar," and they are keeping the momentum going with "Heartland Highway" (Oct. 12, 2010, Rock Ridge Music), marking the band's quickest album-to-album turnaround in their 15-plus-year career.
According to bassist Jett Beres, "Release" "sparked a creativity" in the Gainesville, FL-bred band (vocalist Ken Block, guitarist/vocalist Drew Copeland, lead guitarist Ryan Newell, drummer Mark Trojanowski and Beres) that led to "Heartland Highway," a collection that they all agree is their most diverse-sounding disc. "All of us like a lot of different music," says Trojanowski, "but we have a vibe together," - one that helps to create the Sister Hazel signature mix of Southern pop hooks and country rock harmonies. "There are a lot of moments that have never been in Sister Hazel songs before," notes Newell, adding, "We strive to give our audience something different each time."
The group's 8th full-length, "Heartland Highway" reflects a rootsy journey for both the band and the listeners. Beres describes the album as "American road trip music" while Copeland suggests, "It's one of those discs you can put on and listen to front to back." The disc ebbs and flows between rockin' tracks (Block's "Great Escape" and Copeland's "She's Got A Hold On Me" and "Where You're Going") and more poignant numbers (Newell's "Far Away" and Block's "Saddest Song [Not Coming Home]").
Beres' "Lessons in Love, Hope, and Faith" song trilogy, which closes the disc, is both ambitious and down-to-earth. Each song is about a woman in his life who taught him important lessons: his wife ("The Road"), his daughter ("Snow-Globe World") and his mother ("Behind the Sun"). Each one has a slightly different sound (country, roots rock and arena rock) but they flow together musically - a fitting encapsulation of the record's varied but organic sound.
"Heartland Highway" maintained, and refined, "Release"'s recording process. For this 12-track disc, Block, Copeland, Newell and Beres all contributed a trio of tunes, for which they each served as producers. "Everyone's really involved in the arrangement process," states Newell. "But the songwriter is the person who decides what road we're going to go down."