By Bob McMahon
By Allison Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
After toiling for a decade on the road and selling more than a million copies of their four albums, the members of Sister Hazel may spend the rest of their career playing for the Hazelnuts. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. They've taken a ride on the major-label magic carpet, releasing 1997's Somewhere More Familiar and 2000's Fortress on Universal, a move that got their name into wide circulation and allowed them to recruit a loyal fanbase -- those aforementioned Hazelnuts.
After opting out of their contract with Universal, Sister Hazel released their most recent CD, Chasing Daylight, on their own label, Sixthman. And why not? These days, if you're not one of the handful of bands given the zillion-dollar marketing push by your label, you might as well cut your losses and go back to the days of DIY. Clearly the Gainesville, Florida, quintet was at that stage of the game.
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. Fans of those bands will almost surely take some pleasure in hoisting a few brewskis to bright, accessible tunes such as "Your Mistake" "Effortlessly" and "One Love" from the new album, as well as older favorites such as "Change Your Mind" and "Champagne High." One thing's for sure: This band's not about to give up -- and good for them.