Growing up, Amy, Jody and Kacy Hazen traveled with their family to perform music for church audiences. Today the Hazen sisters have families of their own, but music continues to keep their sisterhood strong and may even make them famous.
"Making music has been an activity we've done together forever," said Jody, the middle sister, who lives in Craig and owns Affordable Inns. "We're at a time now in our lives where we're able to pursue it more."
Amy, 32, Jody, 30, and Kacy, 27, are all business owners and mothers in different cities -- Glenwood Springs, Craig and Baggs, Wyo. After what Kacy estimated was about five years off from performing together, they've been meeting regularly to compose and record music for several months.
"When we were a family band, we started to write our own music and always wanted to perform it," Jody said. "We're at a point that if we don't try this now, we never will."
The sisters have an opportunity to have their single "Companion From Above" produced and released on an album by the Latter Day Specialties Performers Web site. In addition to the single being published, the sisters hope that the publicity and exposure from the Web site may open up an offer for the production of their first album.
"It is something we talked about when we were young and now it is within our grasps," Jody said. "Honestly, we could be nearing what could be a great journey."
That journey already had one fork in the road in November. A publisher in Utah contacted the sisters and offered to publish and distribute their music. When they arrived at his studio they were handed a 13-page contract. With their signatures, their dreams would have been realized. But, "We just weren't comfortable with the publisher and we didn't sign," Jody said.
Diligence may have worked for the sisters because after they said no to the Utah publisher, they learned about the LDS Performers Talent Search competition. Their single, "Companion From Above," was added to the site in the beginning of December, for what Jody called an "American Idol-ish" competition. There are more than 60 artists with music on the site and after two weeks the Hazen Sisters went from 11th to first. As of this morning they were ahead by 50 votes.
Part of the reason for the early support on the site may have come after the musicians promoted their music on a local radio station, KMTS, in their childhood home of Glenwood Springs.
"The votes on the site are probably 50/50 from people we've told about the competition to those who were on the site and voted for their favorite," Kacy said. "But even the ones we tell about it, we ask them to listen to the others before they make the decision."
Listening to the Hazen sisters is something Jody estimates that thousands of people have done over the years. The musical firesides, a worship gathering for Latter Day Saint churches, were the beginning. Through the years, the sisters have written 10 to 12 songs, but not always while they were together on the road.
"It has happened several times where Kacy was away and she was writing lyrics about something she experienced," Amy said. "At the same time, I was composing some music on the piano and when we got together the lyrics and music worked together."
One song that came together in that manner is called "Heaven Knows." Kacy was in Oregon when she learned that a car dealer she was talking to had lost an 11-month-old child and he and his wife were struggling to stay together after the loss. Kacy wrote about the experience on a Cheese Nips box as she traveled back to Wyoming and when she called Amy about it, her older sister had been going over a song in her head that fit the lyrics. They composed the song and presented it to the car dealer, who by then was separated, in a restaurant in Oregon. The man hadn't seen his wife in a long time and she happened to be at the restaurant and they listened together.
"They wept when they heard the song," Jody said. "We believe that miracles can work through music."
The sisters said the songs they write all have Christian undertones and are mostly about their life experiences.
"We believe each song carries an important message," Kacy said. "We try to keep it inspirational."
Apparently the inspirational music has left an impression.
Amy was approached one day by a man in Craig who asked her if she remembered him. She didn't recognize him but he remembered her from a performance when she and the family band came to Craig.
"This was someone who remembered me 10 years later because of our music," she said. "That is pretty amazing."
If the sisters win the Web site competition, their music will be distributed across the county, maybe the world. It will provide the opportunity to inspire beyond the three-state area they've performed in for 20 years.
"We're ready to do whatever we have to do," Kacy said. "This has been a great experience already and we're just getting started."
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org