Sister Hazel bringing a big tailgate party to The Post Farm in Newberry this Friday

Just think of it as a big tailgate party.

You have cars and trucks, and people congregating around them, sitting on lawn chairs or standing (appropriately distanced from other vehicles because of COVID-19), all the time listening to great music.

That’s how Drew Copeland of Sister Hazel describes the “Drive-In” series of concerts the band is doing. One of those concerts will be this Friday, October 23rd, at The Post Farm in Newberry. Tickets are available at www.sisterhazel.com.

“You don’t have to sit in your car,” Copeland says, explaining the Drive-In aspect is how people will have to arrive at the show. “Bring your chairs and watch the concert.”

“The only thing you can’t do is sit right in front of the stage, as you would do at a typical outdoor festival.”

The Gainesville-based band has been together for 27 years, and has played in all sorts of venues, Copeland says.

Concert goers can anticipate hearing the band’s hits from over the years as well as newer music and even a couple of cover songs. “We do a good job playing the songs people want to hear,” he says, acknowledging that with their “extensive catalog” they can’t play everything they have recorded.

Sister Hazel has had multiple hits, including seven that have placed on Billboard’s U.S. Adult 40 chart, most notably the 1997 song, “All For You.”

The band’s diverse appeal is indicated by the 2018 EP “Water,” which reached country, indie, and rock charts.

“Water” was combined with the subsequent EPs “Wind,” “Fire,” and “Earth” into one album, “Elements.”

“We got in a real groove” making “Elements,” Copeland says. “It was a fun project.”

Sister Hazel’s longevity can be attributed to a great working relationship among its members. However, Copeland says that they have learned the hard way that when all the members agree on something, “It’s usually not the best thing.”

He gives the example of a decision to record a song by the 80’s New Wave band The Cars for one of their albums. “We were all convinced it was the right thing,” he says.

“It wasn’t,” he adds, laughingly. Listeners were not as impressed as the band members, he says.

Sister Hazel fans are referred to as Hazelnuts.

“The Hazelnuts are so dedicated,” Copeland says. “They are a community that’s truly inspiring, not just because of their love of music but also the way they care for each other.” He relates the story that one Hazelnut gave a kidney to another fan, when it was discovered that fan needed a new kidney.

Copeland says the members of Sister Hazel enjoy interacting with their followers. “We like to feel we are very approachable,” he says. He urges people to reach out through the SisterHazel.com website.

Copeland is also looking forward to the return of The Rock Boat, the floating music festival at sea, in November 2021. This year’s edition had to be cancelled because of COVID-19.

“People on most cruises head in their own directions. On The Rock Boat, everyone is united by all the music. It’s a fun experience,” he says.

From clubs and arenas, to cruises, stadium parking lots, and a tailgate experience in a drive-in setting – including one this Friday at The Post Farm in Newberry – Sister Hazel continues to find ways to bring its music to its fans.

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