Sister Hazel’s Fire Album Review

Sister Hazel came up with a cool concept: a series of EPs that collectively will form a compilation series that they are calling “Elements.”  The latest EP, the third volume in the series, is titled “Fire” and follows previous EP releases “Water” and “Wind.”

“Fire” offers six tracks – all good – plus a seventh bonus track, “Elements III (Growing Up”) following a tradition set with the previous EP’s bonus tracks.

Hailing from the Gainesville, Florida, area, the five-piece band formed in 1993 and the personnel lineup has remained pretty much unchanged since then.  Sister Hazel’s music is kinda hard to categorize. Alternative rock, yes; but also country… maybe alt-country and southern rock. Whatever you call it, it’s original and just plain good.

The title track is a gentle ballad that recognizes the daily private struggles that we all go through. “You’ve been through the fire / And I know you’re tired / But don’t give up yet / Just keep holding on / There’s life just beyond…”  The attitude of encouragement and inspiration is common to much of Sister Hazel’s music, but is applied with a light hand that never feels preachy.

“Here With You” is an uptempo love song about living in the moment with the one you love. It’s a song that could seriously impact the Country Airplay chart – if a few influential programmers at Country Radio were to pick this cut as an ‘add’ to their playlist. Hint!

The bonus track, “Elements III” is barely over a minute in length but is an upbeat witty rocker that leaves the listener with a smile. “I gotta learn another, learn another, learn another way / Don’t know what I’m doin’ but I do it anyway.”

Every album they have released has charted, either on the Billboard 200 Album Chart and/or the Country or Indie album charts. (1997’s “…Somewhere More Familiar” achieved RIAA Platinum status.)  Both “Wind” and “Water” made sizable impacts on both Country and Indie EP charts.

Combining top-tier songwriting with strong musicianship, “Fire” should be on your playlist and, like the two earlier EPs, is set to make an impact on the charts.

“Fire” drops February 8. Pre-order the EP via www.sisterhazel.com and you get the instant grat track “Here With You” (also available on streaming services now).  Check out their website for upcoming tour dates.

Album Review by Preshias Harris

Preshias Harris  is a music journalist and music career development consultant with the emphasis on new and aspiring artists and songwriters. Her book, ‘The College of Songology 101: The Singer/Songwriter’s Need to Know Reference Handbook’ is available at   www.collegeofsongology.com   Follow her blog at  www.nashvillemusicline.com

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