Haze reunites over funky mystery record

Discarded album revives forgotten chapter of Minneapolis music history

I can't wait to speak with you and the band about our experience with their record. If the band members would like to do an interview, I will speak with my co-host Tim about when we are available and we can see what will work.

This is so exciting—I tried to track down the band, but haven't had any success.

Thanks for getting in touch with us and I look forward to hearing from you soon. —Shelley

Two weeks later, she had a voicemail from Thomas, the lead singer of Haze:

"I guess you folks have been trying to get a hold of our band," Thomas said on the recording. "What makes it so interesting is we thought everyone forgot about us. Have a good day."

One by one, Pierce and Lind spoke to each member of the band, gathering more information. All but one of the original members still lives in the Twin Cities. All of the members except the Johnson brothers had met up in August for a small reunion, but rarely see each other around town. They'd all gone their separate ways, started careers, and had kids. Some even stayed involved in music. Peter Johnson went on to work with Lipps Inc., and Paul Johnson and Solomon Hughes performed with Sounds of Blackness.

After countless hours talking with Haze on the phone, Pierce and Lind came up to the Twin Cities this month to officially meet their mystery band.

Pierce brought her sister, Carrie Carroll, along to the meet-up at a St. Paul condo complex. Carroll couldn't resist the chance to meet the band her sister had spent five years looking for. Pierce calls herself shy and awkward, and figured her outgoing younger sister could help if things got quiet. They were going to meet a roomful of strangers, after all.

The two opened the door and peeked into the meeting room. The moment their heads came into view, the entire room erupted in cheers. Pierce blushed, overwhelmed by the enthusiastic welcome.

"The sleuth is here!" someone in the back yelled.

It was like a family reunion. Band members still call each other by their old nicknames, so Pierce and Lind were immediately inducted into the club with nicknames of their own. They were now Shelley "The Sleuth" Pierce and Tim "Shy Boy" Lind.

Hughes, also known as "Soli" or "Wolf," pulled Pierce over to the computer he had set up. He collected every band member's photos together in a slideshow with some of their tunes. By March, the band members plan to have all of the photos online at originalhazeband.com, along with copies of their first album and second, never-released title for sale. They are calling the second recording Haze II Resurrection.

"I really wish I could see them sing live," Pierce said.

Susan Green laughed. The band had toned down their antics for this meeting. The room was usually deafening with different harmonies, most often started by Thomas and any friend he could convince to sing along with him.

Lind couldn't believe their search led to this meeting.

"The circumstances are incredible," Lind says. "Their album was seconds away from ending up in the trash bin."

Before everyone left, Peter Johnson asked for the room's attention. He wanted to present Pierce and Lind with signed copies of their second unreleased album.

"We are just incredibly appreciative beyond what you can imagine," Peter Johnson said. "You took this time to find us. In their search for us, we re-found ourselves."

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