Hudson Gardens changed their style of music and went southern rock Sunday night while having Sister Hazel take to the stage sponsored by The Fresh Fish Company and KIMN 100.3 The band got their name from Sister Hazel William a local nun who ran a Rescue Mission in Gainesville, Florida in the 70’s and 80’s. Their style ranges from folk rock, pop, classic rock and roll and southern rock. The group released its self titled debut album in 1994 through its independent record label, Croakin’ Poets and shortly after its release, singer/guitarist Ryan Newell and drummer Mark Trojanowski joined the band. Newell played on the album before officially joining the group
Since then, the band has created numerous hit albums and have gained popularity amongst all ages.
The weather was hot and skies were clear creating a great atmosphere for the Southern Style music to rock the Gardens’. This band exploded on stage. The vocals were amazing, the lyrics incredible and the energy these guys created on stage was explosive. The crowd was up on their feet from start to finish. Ken Block who is the lead singer and guitar player along with Jett Beres – bass player and harmony vocals, Andrew Copeland – rhythm guitar and vocals, Ryan Newell – lead and slide guitar, harmony vocals and Mark Trojanowski on drums played for a sold out crowd. This group ranks amongst the top 3 things to come out of Florida. Tom Petty, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and of course Sister Hazel.
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.
The band credits their success to family – both blood and band. Newell, the one band member who isn’t a family man, was quoted as saying: “Family has always been first in this band and we finally have found the balance to make it all work.”
The band still hits the road regularly, doing around 100 dates annually, but they also find other avenues to maintain close ties to their fans. “The only way we can keep doing what we are doing is having our fans continue to connect and support us,” proclaims Copeland. The band’s Rock Boat excursion, the world’s largest floating music festival, celebrated its 10th anniversary this past January and next year’s outing will be a “Uncharted Waters cruise,” according to Trojanowski. “We missed a lot of ports due to weather so we won’t pick a destination until we leave a port.” Just as popular is their annual Hazelnut Hang (“Hazelnuts” being the name for the group’s ardent fans) at The Windjammer on South Carolina’s Isle of Palms. Among this year’s highlights was the group’s “Triple Crow” set where they covered tunes by Sheryl Crow, the Counting Crows and the Black Crowes.
Hopefully the band will not wait another 5 plus years to make an appearance at Hudson Gardens and Event Center. They will be loved by fans for years to come. And in looking at the audience Sunday night, it showed. There was history in the crowd just looking at all the Sister Hazel shirts. Some old, some new, but the “Hazelnuts” had taken over the Gardens’ and let the band know that they will have success for a long, long time.
Up next for the Hudson Gardens and Event Center is the Stylistics on Saturday July 30th. With such hits as “You Make Me Feel Brand New”, “You are Everything”, “Stone in Love With You” and many more they will produce an award winning performance. Tickets are $20 for Adults, (Members only $17.50) and Children 3-12 are only $10.
Then July 31, Hudson Gardens and Event Center welcome Little River Band. Formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1975, LRB was the first Australian rock group to enjoy sustained commercial success in the United States Tickets for this show are Adults $26 (Members $23) and Children 3-12 are only $10.
Gates open at 5p.m. for both shows and the concerts start at 6:30p.m.
Be sure to check out Hudson Gardens for the these and the remaining summer shows. You can still purchase tickets by calling 303-534-6773, in person at The Hudson Garden’s Gift Shop (9 A.M. – 5 P.M) or online at www.tickethorse.com