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Ken Block of Sister Hazel


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A philosophical discussion with Ken Block, lead singer of Sister Hazel, would be a thing to behold.

He is a prolific songwriter who writes from the heart. Whether it be an emotion that he pulled from his distant past, or something he's experiencing in the present, he says when he sits down to write it's never because he's in a good mood.

So why are his songs so upbeat and happy? Because, he says, he revisits the melancholy lyrics and "reaches into a bag of optimism," and sprinkles that around liberally until the song rings true. And mostly optimistic.

The story behind Sister Hazel's first big hit, "All For You," is surprising - at least it was to me. The circumstances surrounding the writing and recording of the song brings to mind the story behind Paul McCartney's classic "Maybe I'm Amazed" - albeit, on a less grand scale. A couple of jam boxes and a 4-track cassette, to be precise.

Ken opened up about his religious beliefs, his personal struggles, and the tragic loss of his brother to cancer. And in so doing earned my deepest respect - and an even more devout fan than before.

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