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Sister Hazel, Radio Birds, Christian Lopez

Sister Hazel

It starts with a lighter in the dark, held high by a true believer whose favorite band is telling his story onstage.

Multiply that by thousands of other fans in that venue and thousands more that same night in venues across America. Each one of those lights testifies to the power of music to touch a listener’s soul.

Sister Hazel has been there. For more than 20 years, these five friends have built the kind of musical communication that comes only with time, talent and commitment. From bars and clubs back home in Gainesville, Florida, to theaters, arenas, college campuses and open-air festivals, they’ve seen audiences light up the night like seas of stars.

But they’ve been on the other side too. Bassist Jett Beres remembers the first time he heard guitarist/singer/songwriter Andrew Copeland’s lyric, “I’m just a kid from Gainesville watching Petty with my lighter in the dark,” for his song “Something To Believe In.”

“It gave me chills,” Beres says. “It’s who we were. It’s who we still are. It’s the beauty of music.”

His bandmates agreed — and thus their new album harks back to the roots of their story through its title, Lighter In The Dark. Recorded in Nashville’s…

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