lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: champagne high

2000-12-23: sister hazel has fans in high places, just ask vice president al gore, pr newswire:

it's no secret that universal records recording artist sister hazel has developed a loyal fanbase since the release of their platinum major label debut "somewhere more familiar ..." in 1997. the diversity of their following has vastly expanded since the release of their second cd "fortress," which spawned the smash single "change your mind". even vice president al gore seems to have joined the ranks of the gainesville, florida quintet's admirers. when the vice president appeared on mtv's choose or lose last week at the university of michigan, one student from the audience asked him what was currently in his cd player and gore replied, "sister hazel." it certainly seems that sister hazel fans come from all walks of life. look for sister hazel out on the road starting on october 5 in florence, al. the second single from "fortress," "champagne high," featuring emily sailers of the indigo girls, will be released to radio on october 17.


2000-12-23: sister rock, the orlando sentinel:

block is a new dad and a guy with a new cd to push, fortress. so he's more than happy to spend his new year's eve playing here. what else would a band whose new single is titled "champagne high" be doing on that particular midnight?

"we're not exactly sure what we're playing at midnight. we're thinking of some bizarre cover, or maybe a slide guitar version of 'auld lang syne.' we're keeping that a secret."

"champagne high" is a catchy yet touching tune about going to see an ex-lover get married. it's both personal and universal. a member of the indigo girls - the band's management is in atlanta, where the girls reside - sang backup on it.

"when my wife, tracy, and i got married, we were still very close to people we dated in the past," block said. "as we made out the invitations, i sort of put myself in their shoes and came up with this song idea. it's a song about reflection, loss, and taking stock."

and it's got those nice "la la la's" that you hear in the best indigo girls songs.

"i'm a huge fan of theirs, and you're right, hearing their influence on this record," block said. "i wrote 'champagne high' on acoustic guitar. as we built it, as a band, i kept thinking, 'it needs that indigo girls kind of harmony.' so i called emily [saliers, one indigo girl] and she came in and sang harmony and it really gave that song their texture, you know?"


2003-03-25: rockers raise funds, spirits at benefit show, the albany herald:

they're still counting the money, but there's no question sister hazel singer ken block's second lyrics for life fund-raiser here saturday was both a financial and entertainment success.

an enthusiastic crowd bid thousands of dollars for hand-written song lyrics donated by some of the biggest musicians in the industry in between short sets by john taglieri, 7 mary 3 singer jason ross, mark selby and tia sillers, butch walker, edwin mccain, indigo girl emily saliers -with block and mccain filling in for an ill amy rae - and sister hazel.

by the time all the entertainers took the stage for an all-star jam on the indigo girls' "closer to fine," the packed earthlink live audience had bid on signed lyric sheets - and other, more creative items - submitted by such artists as tony bennett, the bee gees, the goo goo dolls, paul simon, hootie & the blowfish, the dixie chicks, train, tim mcgraw, queens of the stone age, third eye blind, wynnona, lifehouse, jefferson starfish, vanilla ice and fleetwood mac.

and it's got those nice "la la la's" that you hear in the best indigo girls songs.


saliers, who silently walked onstage carrying a sign that proclaimed "war is not the answer," wowed the crowd, even without partner rae. she later returned for backing vocals on sister hazel's "champagne high" and the closing number.


2004-09-27: ax facts and stats, guitar news weekly:

welcome to a special 2 part edition of guitar news weekly and's "ax facts & stats". in this issue, we are elated to, once again, feature our friends sister hazel. we first highlighted sister hazel last year as we welcomed sh lead guitarist ryan newell to the afs family as he supported sister hazel's chasing daylight album. we caught up with sister hazel again in may 2004; we caught up with the guys as they toured supporting their "a life in the day" live album and dvd. on august 24, 2004, sister hazel released their "lift" album. i have always been a fan of sh, and now more than ever! what else can i say? "lift" is an awesome album. as usual, sister hazel integrates well-written tunes, trademark harmonies, emotion & rock-solid arrangements on every track on the release including my favorites "surrender", "firefly" , "green" (welcome to the world), and a remake of the cars' tune "just what i needed". be sure to check this album out! not lets meet sister hazel guitarist, lead singer and front man, ken block.


the story behind the band name sister hazel: sister hazel was an african-american woman who ran "sister hazel's rescue mission" in gainesville, fl during the 1970's and 80's. this facility gave those who were down on their luck a safe place to stay warm, eat and regroup - regardless of age, race or beliefs. it is in this spirit of unconditional concern for all beings that we have chosen to use her name.

my favorite sh song is: "champagne high"


who was one of your favorite artists that you jammed with onstage? emily sailers, indigo girls. i'm a singer and harmonizing with her was awesome.


2017-08-31: giveaway: sister hazel at the chapel next week, the bay bridged:

the band formed in gainesville, florida in 1993, with its name inspired by sister hazel williams, a baptist minister known for her humanitarian work in the area.

"we took her name to represent a spirit of giving and unconditional regard with our music," beres said. "she requested our presence at a giant southern baptist revival so her congregation could meet us. ... she gave us her blessing and off we went carrying her name and spirit with us in our music and our philanthropic efforts. it's a big part of who we are and what we represent."

sister hazel released its debut self-titled album in 1994. three years later, the group's second album, ...somewhere more familiar, came out with the single "all for you," which hit no. 11 on the billboard hot 100 and ultimately got the band signed to universal records. fortress, released in 2000, saw charting hits "change your mind" and "champagne high." the band split with universal by 2003. sister hazel went on to release six more studio albums.

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