Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lyrics For Life - Music With A Mission

Sister Hazel is one of my favorite bands. I had the pleasure of seeing them in concert for the first time a few weeks ago. We had general admission tickets so Todd and I arrived early. There was a small table set up at the club entrance with a sign that read "Lyrics For Life" and a framed poster of Sister Hazel's concert dates.

"You can win that," A lady who was standing next to the table said. "The raffle money goes to Lyrics For Life."

"What's that?" I asked.

"A charity that helps kids with cancer. It was started by Ken." I must have wrinkled my brow because she added, "You know, the lead singer of Sister Hazel. His brother died of cancer when he was young. It's his way of helping out."

I bought a ticket and knew I had to know more about this person, the owner of the voice I so admired, and the cause he championed. After the concert, the band members signed autographs and when it was my turn, I told Ken Block I wanted to write about Lyrics For Life. He was very kind when I asked if I could send him a few interview questions.

Lyrics For Life was founded in honor of Block's brother, Jeffery, who passed away at the age of 18 after a four year battle with T-Cell lymphoma. He was an inspiration to Ken. From the L4L brochure he remembers...

I was in the room the day the doctor told my brave, battered brother, "There is nothing else we can do." And my brother looked up, tears slowly welling up in his eyes and said, "Well, thank you for giving me four years I never would have had without you." He's still my hero. I miss him today and every day.

Ken makes it easy for the music community to make a difference in a cancer victim's life. There is an annual benefit coming up on October 18th in Clearwater, Florida. Artists donate items for auction, most often framed, handwritten lyrics for one of their songs. Through out the year, Lyrics for Life hosts concerts and events and so far has raised almost a million dollars for childhood cancer research and organizations that support the families and the kids.

During my research I found a video of Ken performing with Edwin McCain at a Lyrics for Life event. Other artists that have participated in the cause are John Mayer, Matchbox Twenty, and Elton John....there are many more on the list of supporters.

I decided not to bother Ken with my questions since the group is on tour. I'd like to thank him for a great concert and his tireless efforts to make this world a softer place for people and their families who've been touched by cancer.

If you would like to help out, the L4L website takes donations and has merchandise for sale.


Kara said...

So glad you found the spirit of the band. Make sure you head over to the bands website and say hi on the message board. I think you'd be pleasantly surprised by the community that the band has created. :)

Lisa McGlaun said...


Thanks for letting me know about the message board. There were plenty of Hazel Nuts at the concert and people who knew the lyrics to every song. That was so cool to be part of.

Also..the title of your's one of my favorite lines from my favorite Sister Hazel song.


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