If you ask Sister Hazel singer Andrew Copeland, the band's breakthrough single "All for You" was both a blessing and a curse.
The song peaked at No. 11 in 1997 and in turn brought the group national fame and recognition. However, Copeland said its success ultimately stymied the album's momentum.
"Once it ran its course, it still wouldn't go away. It wouldn't make room for the next single," Copeland said during a mid-August phone interview. "Every time we went to radio with something else they would say, 'We're not done playing 'All for You.'
"It's something that hugely benefited the band but at the same time choked out a few singles from that record."
Nineteen years after Sister Hazel's sophomore album ...Somewhere More Familiar turned the quintet into FM radio darlings, the band continues to tour rigorously while creating new music. (Somewhere More Familiar also spawned the single "We'll Find It," which was featured in the Jennifer Lopez-Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy The Wedding Planner.)
Sister Hazel released their ninth album, Lighter in the Dark, in February -- the group's first studio effort in nearly six years. The album includes the single "That Kind of Beautiful."
The band on Sept. 8 will bring their tour to Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem. Copeland teased a high-energy show guaranteed to please Sister Hazel faithful, who affectionately dubbed themselves "Hazelnuts." (Sister Hazel previously headlined Musikfest Cafe in 2012 and 2011.)
"The tour's been great. We've been doing a lot of stuff off of the new record because the new record has been connecting with people," said. "We still have the staples of stuff people want to hear from past records."
With nine albums under their belt, Copeland said he feels bad that it's nearly impossible to play every song every fan wants to hear during a performance, though the band does the best they can to deliver a balanced set. "They may be a big fan of track eight off of album four, so that kind of makes it hard to please everybody," he said. "That's what's fun about being in this band. We've got a deep roster of songs that we can pull from for a show."
Copeland said the past 23 years have taught the members of Sister Hazel -- a lineup that has not changed since its formation in 1993 -- the value of good songwriting.
He explained that being honest lyrically and musically is the key to winning over listeners.
"The biggest lesson all of us have learned is just staying within our role. We're doing what we do as well as we can. Each of us, individually, understand that also less is more. That was something as a young band we didn't really capture all the time. Maybe the best thing I can do right now is not play anything. I think that's hard for a lot of bands to come to that realization
There are songs already written and recorded for the next album, Copeland said. Many of them are tunes that did not make the cut for Lighter in the Dark, he added.
"For this record, unfortunately, it took us five years in between records. We had a ton of songs to sift through," Copeland said. "(The next one) is going to be just like this record, a snapshot of where the band is at the time. Nothing is contrived. We kind of allow the song to dictate where we're going to go with it. We just try to serve the song."
"The biggest lesson all of us have learned is just staying within our role. We're doing what we do as well as we can. Each of us, individually, understand that also less is more. That was something as a young band we didn't really capture all the time. Maybe the best thing I can do right now is not play anything. I think that's hard for a lot of bands to come to that realization."
Sister Hazel performs 8 p.m. Sept. at Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem. Tickets cost $20-$30. Information: steelstacks.org