by Sister Hazel



There was a time when people plugged in guitars and wailed away for pure enjoyment rather than using the volume and power to drag listeners into a group therapy session or some sort of ersatz political rally. And while that down-home attitude might strike hipsters as a mite old-fashioned, Sister Hazel upholds -- and updates -- a Southern-rock tradition that has a spiritual connection to bands as diverse as the Allman Brothers and Tom Petty's Heartbreakers. The Florida-based quintet manages to mix slashing riffs with a soothing balm of melody on anthems such as "Change Your Mind" and "Surreal" and leaven the mood with airy, acoustic interludes such as the sweet, somewhat sappy "Beautiful Thing." Fortress is not all sweetness and light, of course: The waltz-time "Champagne High" leaves a bittersweet aftertaste, while the sprawling title cut takes a somewhat surly look back at the last few years in singer Ken Block's life. Overall, however, Fortress leaves listeners feeling like they wouldn't mind kicking back at a family barbecue with Sister Hazel -- and that's not something you'd say about Sting.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/27/2000
Label: Umvd Labels
UPC: 0601215788327
catalogNumber: 157883

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sister Hazel   Primary Artist
Kim Bullard   Strings,Mellotron,Drum Loop
Luis Conte   Percussion
Paul Ebersold   Hammond Organ
Denny Fongheiser   Percussion,Drums
Mike Finnegan   Organ,Piano
Endre Granat   Violin
David Low   Cello
Don McCollister   Hammond Organ
Jamie Muhoberac   Organ,Mellotron
Simon Oswell   Viola
Emily Saliers   Background Vocals
Jett Beres   Bass,Background Vocals,Melodica,fender rhodes
Ken Block   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Andrew Copeland   Guitar,Guitar (Baritone)
Mark Trojanowski   Drums
Ryan Newell   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Background Vocals,Classical Guitar
Jeff Savage   Keyboards,Drum Loop

Technical Credits

Daniel Chase   Engineer
Mike Clink   Engineer
Paul Ebersold   Producer
Noel Golden   Engineer
Ross Hogarth   Engineer
Ralph Sall   Producer
Richie Zito   Producer
Lars Fox   Engineer
Eddie Miller   Engineer
Mark Trojanowski   Loop Programming

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Fortress 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is awesome. from the beatle-esque song surreal, which echoes of sgt. pepper to the lost love song champagne high, this album has a variety of style and grace. Sister Hazel is one of the most under-rated bands on the market today. I have had the pleasure of seeing their live show twice and I am now a true fan. Great piece of work by the boys from Gainesville.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great music, great lyrics...these guys epitomize good music
Guest More than 1 year ago
The 5 man band, Sister Hazel, has created an awesome new collection of songs that have been put into their latest album, Fortress. The lyrics, written by the band members themselves, connect ''real-life'' situations to music and help listeners relate to their songs. This album is great for pumping you up for the up coming day, and also for relaxing at the end of a hard day at work. I would recommend this album, along with their first two, to any lovers of music!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This recording displays all of Sister Hazel's unique and versatile skills. Highly reccomended if you've enjoyed other Sister Hazel tracks. Comes close to the ''somewhere more familiar'' CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sister Hazel's latest entitled Fortress hits the comfort zone. If you're living-this is the music to do it by. THANK-YOU Sister Hazel for this BEAUTIFUL THING called FORTRESS. It gets me on a CHAMPAGNE HIGH, every time I GIVE IN and listen. SHAME ON ME for not finding that you were OUT THERE before YOUR WINTER. You may find this album a STRANGE CUP OF TEA, but after you hear it- you won't CHANGE YOUR MIND!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fortress has one hit after another - lyrics that are mature and deep, yet not too heavy, instrumental that fits any occasion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sister Hazel is a band that will be around for a long time. They write from their hearts and that is evident in all their songs. They put everything they can into songwriting and performing. If you don't have any of their cd's, I'd recommend Fortress first, although all are great. All 3 are on my list of all time favorite cd's. If you get a chance to see them live it is 100 times better than you could imagine.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This collection of songs is fantastic! I have all 3 Sister Hazel CDs, and all I need to pull out of a funk is to crank this CD and I feel much better. All 3 CDs are great, with the first being much more raw and accoustic. I saw them at a beach bar on Clearwater Beach a few years ago and became an instant fan!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fortress, the new album from the Gainsville Florida band, is amazing. It has the type of music that you can not get out of your head. From the first song, change your mind, through to the last, the cd just keeps getting better. This is the first cd in a long time that i have not had to skip through some tracks. There is no bad tracks on this disc.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is great. Every song is wonderful. You can just put in the CD and listen to it the whole way through. I saw them in Universal Studios Mardi Gras and they were awesome! I can't stop listening to my Sister Hazel CDs! My favorites on this one are Champagne High, Thank You, Change Your Mind and especially Strange Cup of Tea! A must own CD... along with Somewhere More Familiar! Be sure to request Sister Hazel to your local radio station! They are desperately underplayed, at least where I am!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is completely awesome. It's musically accomplished and has great lyrics. Most definitely one of those albums that you can listen to all the way through without having to skip over tracks!! Check it out!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Go out and buy this album, you will be happy that you did! It's such a powerful record that's filled with such great tunes! The best album of the year!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sister Hazel has outdone themselves. Fortress is more gripping than ''..somewhere more familiar'' and once again makes you feel their emotion and passion. From their first single ''Change your mind'' to the last track on the album they will put (and keep) you in a different state of mind. It's called Bliss. Sister Hazel has managed to do what so few artists have done, and that is follow up a break-through album with a far superior release.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sister Hazel has managed to put all human emotions into one cd titled Fortress. This ecclectic mix of our daily emotions is well one of the best of the year. With it's outstanding harmonies and accoustics, fans should not be dissapointed. From the fun and upbeat sound of Elivs to the tender ballad of Out there, Sister Hazel does it all on this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This albulm is awesome! This is a great follow up to their last, Somewhere more Familiar. The unique and amazing harmonies of Ken Block and Drew Copeland are outstanding. Musically Sister Hazel has come full circle and brought an addition to their sound while staying true to their previous sound. The most grabbing fact of this albulm is the way each and every song touches you, it leaves you saying ''yeah, I know how that feels'' It is truely a great CD, I highly recomend buying this one! Thanks, Matthew D
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sister Hazel's newest cd, Fortress is one of the best cd's that I have heard in a long time. I have heard someone say that Ken Block (lead singer) writes the soundtrack to our lives and this hold true with Fortress. Anyone can relate to the songs on this cd. From stories of broken relationships (Your Winter, Elvis) to uplifting messages (Change Your Mind, Strange Cup of Tea), this latest work from ''five down to earth guys from Gainsville'' is sure to strike a cord in all of us.
Guest More than 1 year ago
AND BUY THIS ALBUM! This album is definitely rad. It's got really amazing music and incredible lyrics. One of those albums you can play straight through without having to skip over any tracks. I would recommend this to anyone who just loves really good music. It's not for everyone but if you're into some great southern rock, you'll probably like this album immensely. Even if you aren't feeling the album you should most definitely check Sister Hazel out live. I brought friends with me to their concert who weren't into the album but were extremely impressed with their live show. When you see them you'll realize they aren't all ''rock starred out.'' They're just some guys up on stage having fun who REALLY know how to play their instruments! Check them out!! They rock it...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd it amazing, it never leaves my cd player. Sister Hazel had greatly evolved since somewhere more familiar and the while album, but still writes wonderful songs that are so easy to relate to. The only thing better than this cd is seeing them play live.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My copy of SIster Hazel's new CD must be getting pretty close to warn out by now. I bought it the day it came out and I haven't stopped listning to it, it truely is an amazing CD. In todays day and age it seems like amazing and talented bands are doomed to play second fiddle to those who seem to posses little of their abbilties. Sister hazel is one such case. The CD has songs that are enjoyable to listen to back to back to back. It seems these guys are seen as a one hit wonder, I feel this is because there are those out there who haven't bothered to listen to another song. These guys will blow your mind with their style and their talent. This is a great CD, and would make an amazing gift. If I didn't allready have one I'd be exstatic to get one. good for anyone who likes quality music. Definitly one of the top CDS this year
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sister Hazel¿s new release, Fortress, is the band¿s best release to date. It is evident that the band has matured musically and lyrically. The album begins with the innocent and upbeat ¿Change Your Mind¿. Ken Block¿s optimistic lyrics, combined with its catchy tune kicks off the album nicely. The album¿s shining star is ¿Champagne High¿. Blocks heartfelt lyrics about attending the wedding of an ex-girlfriend should be the band¿s biggest single to date. If you like a good solid rock album with poetic heartfelt lyrics, then you will love ¿Fortress¿.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sister Hazel continues to improve with every album they release. ''Fortress'' is a great mix of everything you might need on one CD. Whatever your mood, you can find a song that fits your spirit. ''Champagne High'' takes the viewpoint of a love lost to another level. ''Strange Cup of Tea'' featuring guitarist, Andrew Copeland, is a fun uplifting number that leaves you with a smile on your face. Great lyrics, great feeling and great blend of voices make this album one to have in your collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sister Hazel has yet again managed to release an amazing album! 'Fortress' is, simply put, beauty. I recommend this album to anyone who loves great music! This album has everything! Each week it seems I have a new favorite song. This is one of the few albums I am happy listening to straight through! Do yourself a favor, and buy this!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my opinion Sister Hazel is, perhaps, one of the best bands to arrive on the music scene since the inception of rock and roll in the 1950's. Their blend of driving rhythms, beautifully unique harmonies and compositional genius flow like a torrent from every song they perform. ''Fortress'' is just there latest work and a fine work it is. I think this album reflects a maturity and confidence both in themselves, as musicians, and in their ability to create an emotionally moving story (my hats off to Ken and his wonderful lyrics). Please, do yourself a favor and listen to Sister Hazel's music. You don't need a crystal ball to tell that this band is on the rise. And, from interviews I've read, and seeing them in concert (5 times) these guys are down to earth and approachable. I urge you to go see Sister Hazel in concert. Their live shows are dynamite! Buy the CD! Listen to them! You gotta' love them! Sister Hazel is solid gold.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sister Hazel provides the listener with everything they could possibly want. Good Rythym, great lyrics and music that you can listen to in the best of times and the worst of times. Sister Hazel provides the listener with the classic feel good music. It also makes you think of what you have had and lost or want to gain in your own life. From ''Change your mind'' which makes you think of not necesarily what it means to the Band but what it means to you. To ''Champagne High'' which not only has great vocals and lets you think of that lover that you lost but also the one that you want to hold on to. The smart money is on Sister Hazel and now for any future releases.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having heard this group before they signed a deal I can say that their music has grown and they have grown. The music is great and the lyrics are strong. There is no song that doesn't have a meaning. If you ever get a chance... see them live... I promise that you won't be dissapointed. Plus check out the other CD's they are a little more raw than this one but the music is just as good.