Release

Release

5.0 3
by Sister Hazel
     
 

The five members of Sister Hazel -- Jett Beres, Ken Block, Andrew Copeland, Ryan Newell, and Mark Trojanowski -- who founded the group in Gainesville, FL, in 1993, appear in a line on the cover of Release, their seventh studio album of new, non-holiday material, no one person ahead of or behindSee more details below

Overview

The five members of Sister Hazel -- Jett Beres, Ken Block, Andrew Copeland, Ryan Newell, and Mark Trojanowski -- who founded the group in Gainesville, FL, in 1993, appear in a line on the cover of Release, their seventh studio album of new, non-holiday material, no one person ahead of or behind another. It's a statement of equality that is pursued in the album's contents. When a band is founded, the young musicians often don't realize that whoever is credited with writing the songs is going to make more money than the others. That starts to become apparent later on, however, and it can lead to strange consequences. After years of recording hits written by singer/guitarist John Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival abruptly released Mardi Gras, an album on which the bass player and drummer got equal songwriting credits. It was a bust, and the band broke up. Former members of the Band Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm became estranged because Helm believes Robertson's sole songwriting credit on most of their music is unfair. Other groups deal with the issue head on: all U2 songs are credited equally to the band's four members. In the case of Sister Hazel, early songs tended to be credited to Block/Sister Hazel, suggesting that the singer wrote the lyrics and the band came up with the music, which may have resulted in his getting 50-percent of the music publishing and the others splitting the other 50-percent. (After the first couple of albums, the group credit was abandoned, and Block wrote most of the songs, sometimes with Beres, Copeland, and/or Newell joining in.) This time, the band has employed a new strategy. A decade-and-a-half into their career together, the members of Sister Hazel opted for songwriting democracy on Release, assigning each member at least two songs (Newell and Copeland each get three). While that might seem like a formula for disaster à la Creedence, it works out just fine. For one thing, Block never dominated the band the way Fogerty did Creedence; Sister Hazel's music has always sounded like a group effort, and it still does here. For another, some of the bandmembers have brought in help, with Newell turning to another journeyman rocker, Pat McGee, among others, and Copeland bringing on former Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' drummer and Don Henley songwriting partner Stan Lynch. But even when they go it alone, as Beres does on "Vacation Rain" and "Ghost in the Crowd," they come up with acceptable material. Each member seems to have brought in his most accessible, catchy efforts, resulting in an album that, if anything, is even more tuneful than other Sister Hazel albums. As usual, there isn't much in the way of lyrical substance (love goes right, love goes wrong, clichés abound), but the choruses (not to mention bridges and "pre-choruses") come frequently in craftsmanlike songs that are played by a group that has been playing together for more than a decade-and-a-half. Maybe the best thing that can be said about the songwriting experiment is that the listener doesn't really notice the difference. No new ground is broken on Release, but Sister Hazel hasn't lost ground with its democratic approach, either.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/18/2009
Label:
Rock Ridge Music
UPC:
0677516123822
catalogNumber:
61238
Rank:
119605

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sister Hazel   Primary Artist
Patrick Buchanon   Guitar
Stan Lynch   Percussion
Debbie Brooks   Cello
Jett Beres   Bass,Group Member
Ken Block   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Andrew Copeland   Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member
Mark Trojanowski   Drums,Group Member
Swang Lin   Violin
Tom Hurst   Percussion
Ryan Newell   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Dobro,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Group Member
Darwin Martin   Organ,Piano
Adriana DeCosta   Violin
John Deaderick   Organ,Piano
Bill Airey Smith   Strings,Conductor
Susan DuBois   Viola
Kurt Sprenger   Violin
Kristi Swanson   Viola
Keira Fullerton   Cello
Ali Flanagan   Violin
Adrian Decosta   Violin
Bill Smith   Strings,Conductor

Technical Credits

Stan Lynch   Composer,Lyricist,Producer
Mike Daly   Composer,Lyricist
Sister Hazel   Producer
Cynthia Cochrane   Art Direction
Benny Quinn   Mastering
Pat McGee   Composer,Lyricist
Jett Beres   Composer,Lyricist,Producer,Art Direction
Ken Block   Composer,Lyricist,Producer
Andrew Copeland   Producer
Mark Trojanowski   Composer,Lyricist,Producer
Britton Cameron   Composer,Lyricist,Engineer
Emerson Hart   Composer,Lyricist
Ryan Newell   Composer,Lyricist,Producer,Engineer
Vince Reynolds   Engineer
Ken Kelly   Composer,Lyricist,Producer,Engineer,Digital Editing
Brad Blackwood   Mastering
Bill Airey Smith   Orchestration
Chip Matthews   Engineer,Executive Producer
Drew Copeland   Composer,Lyricist
Brian Gill   Engineer
Erik Herbst   Engineer
Chuck Carrier   Composer,Lyricist
Lindsey Kelly   Composer,Lyricist
Ken Kelly   Composer,Lyricist,Producer,Engineer

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