The South Carolina Music Guide

Sister Hazel’s Jett Beres Has A Mission

Sister Hazel is a name that is synonymous with nineties music. I would be willing to bet that all of us, at least once or twice, have belted out the opening lines and chorus to “All for You” while bangin’ out the rhythm section on our steering wheel. Over twenty years and thirteen albums later, the platinum-selling group is still going strong, Sister Hazel, will be bringing their “We Got it All Tonight” tour to Newberry Opera House in Newberry, SC on Friday, November 10. Fans can expect to hear some brand-new Sister Hazel songs like “Karaoke Song” and “That Kind of Beautiful”, as well as popular fan favorites like “All For You.” A limited number of exclusive VIP Experiences will also be available for sale. These packages include access to a Sister Hazel pre-show event, extensive Q & A session with the band, limited-edition merchandise, and much more. Show starts at 8 pm and tickets start at $35. For additional information click here.
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Bass player Jett Beres took a few minutes to answer some questions from Jacob Boland on behalf of SC Music Guide.
1. Alright, thank you for your time, let’s get right into it. Question I’m sure y’all get all the time, but everyone will want to know. Where did the name Sister Hazel come from?
Sister Hazel was a Baptist Minister from our hometown in Gainesville FL.  She ran rescue missions around town and was a force for change, philanthropy, and acceptance in our community.  We use chose her as our namesake in hopes of embodying that same spirit in our music.
2. You guys have made a pretty seamless transition from Alternative Rock to Country, with “Lighter in the Dark” debuting at #4 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. How did that switch  come about?
We really just made the next Sister Hazel record.  We write and are moved by songs that are about real life experiences, good storytelling, and will move people at our shows.  It seems that the music we’re making right now seems to be accepted in the Country format and that is cool with us.  We’re still writing and playing from the heart like we’ve always done, and if that resonates with new audiences, then that’s all good!
3. “Lighter in the Dark” was lucky number 13 when it comes to albums for y’all. What do you attribute that longevity too?
The longevity of this band or any band that’s been making music for over 20 years for that matter, is about a multitude of pieces and parts working together.  Despite being very different in many ways as individuals, our collective as a band in how we live our lives, prioritize, find passion in music, write, and perform has been more aligned than not.  We compromise when we need to, we dig in when we are called on, and we laugh… a lot!
4. Y’all proudly hail from Gainesville, Florida, how did the area influence y’all’s music?
Gainesville has a long history of music for such a small town.  Petty was such a huge influence on us in so many ways.  Also, the north Florida music scene has its own flavor that influenced our music style.  It’s a combination of Rock, Southern Rock, Country, Alt., Acoustic and Bluegrass.  It’s all in our music, and in our blood.  We just call it Florida music.
5. It’s basically the quintessential 90’s song: Did you guys see the success of “All for You” coming?   
I don’t think you could ever expect a song you write and record to be on the radio 20 years later.  It’s a special song for sure.  I can tell you that it did stand out early on at our live shows.  Our hometown club would go off when we played it.  Way before anyone ever heard it on the radio.
6. Tell me about the Lyrics for Life foundation and benefit and Camp Hazelnut.
L4L was a foundation our lead singer Ken started about 15 years ago and the band has adopted as our main philanthropic focus.  We’ve taken the event all around the country and raised lots of money and awareness for Children’s related Cancer care and research.  We just finished our 3rd annual Camp Hazelnut, which is a weekend where we bring in over 100 kids and their families that have been battling cancer to enjoy a “Summer Camp” weekend with us.  Canoeing, Archery, and S’mores can be a great escape!
7. Y’all are co-founders of “The Rock Boat” cruise and pioneers of the themed cruise experience, how did that concept come about?
After our 2nd big tour in 2000 we wanted a getaway and decided to invite some of our friends and fans with us on a cruise.  When we got off the ship we knew we were on to something.  So we chartered the whole cruise ship the next year (2,500 people) and brought some bands and the rest is history.  Now in it’s 18th year, TRB has grown into an amazing event with over 20 bands and is the most successful floating festival of all time.  It started because of our community “the Hazelnuts” and they are still the core of it all.  We recognize that it’s all about the fans, so we are constantly trying to create experiences for them beyond just the show,  This is the ultimate example of that effort.
8.  What does the future hold for Sister Hazel?
At this point, we’re “Lifers”!  The creative wheels keep turning.  There’s lots of parties to plan, places to play, charities to host, and music to be made.  

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