There’s no denying that the music industry has been unexpectedly affected by Covid-19.
With live performances canceled worldwide, musicians have been deprived of revenue they would have spent on hiring studios to make new records. However, that hasn’t stopped local bands Hazel Virtue and DRAUCKER from writing and producing new music.
Often referenced as the “the best alternative rock band in Athens.” (Athens Banner Herald, 1996), Hazel Virtue was formed by Eric Britt in the 90s, with a handful of friends he met as a student during his time at the University of Georgia.
Hazel toured extensively throughout the South during the mid to late 90s and quickly became part of the festival circuit.
After taking a 20-year break from touring, Hazel is hitting the road again for a handful of concerts and making a stop at Southbound Brewing with their newest album ‘Full Circle.’
Released in 2019, ‘Full Circle’ is a double-sided album with one side dedicated to acoustic rock and the other dedicated to Hazel’s rocking alterna-rock roots.
“Full Circle has two sides to it,” explained Britt.
“Side A is mostly acoustic and beautiful ballads that are indie-rock based. That’s my solo stuff that I was working on for a long time. And Side B starts with a song called ‘The Plan.’ The album slowly gets darker and heavier as you go along and Side B is the side that we constructed together as a band.” Britt also said that the album has two different art components to it, something he is very proud of.
“The album is all about one of those old-school records from the 70s where it folds three ways. The first record is on the left panel and the second one is on the right. That kinda stuff.”
‘Full Circle’ has a mixture of newly written songs, and songs that have been in the making for over 25 years.
“With a couple of new editions, most of the songs on the album are songs that we started 25 years ago,” he said with a chuckle.
“We did go into the studio, but they never made it on to a record but they finally did in 2020.” Due to the pandemic, this year is the first time Hazel has been able to perform ‘Full Circle’ on stage.
“We actually had a bigger tour booked in 2020 that would have followed the release of the album,” he said. “But with Covid we were unable to do it. We are really excited to be playing our newest album and teaming up with another local rock band, DRAUCKER.”
Based out of Savannah, DRAUCKER is a five-piece rock band that began with three siblings: Nick, Sarah, and Chris Draucker who grew up in a musical household.
The siblings, who got their start playing at church and in a band at school, played at festivals and different gigs within the Savannah area throughout their youth before forming the band DRAUCKER with musician friends Tyler Weibel and Joe Pilz.
With deep rock-roots, ambitious dreams for the future, and a goal to write and produce music that promotes positivity, DRAUCKER breaks barriers by diving into many different musical genres.
Nick Draucker, songwriter behind most of the band’s music, studies music from many different genres and incorporates those influences into his songwriting.
“I think a lot of their music is born from personal experiences but also just from listening to other writers in a prolific way,” said DRAUCKER’s Band Manager, Belinda Draucker.
“Nick studies all different genres, all different types of music...people you’ve never even heard of. They could play a Beatles song, and right next to an Aerosmith song, followed by the Eagles, Ed Sheeran, etc. Part of it is just being exposed to what the history is behind the music they’re playing, and putting a twist on it to make their own unique sound.”
DRAUCKER is armed with a unique list of covers and a large repertoire of original songs.
Although the pandemic may have slowed down DRAUCKER’s live performing momentum, it hasn’t stopped the band from writing new tunes.
“Nick probably has a catalog of over 50 to 60 songs that he’s written right now,” said Draucker. “They’ve had a lot of time to write new material and are thrilled for the opportunity to share their music locally. The fact that we’re able to get together with Hazel Virtue and do something local like this...we’re beyond ready to bring something unique that will bring positivity back into people’s lives and support our local businesses.”
Hazel Virtue and DRAUCKER perform on Fri., Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 day of the show. To purchase tickets or for more information click HERE