BILLINGS GAZETTE

Return to Sons of Sylvia

Sons of Sylvia open for Underwood in Bozeman

By JACI WEBB Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette | Posted: Friday, December 10, 2010 12:00 am

Those Clark boys love their mama.

The country-pop outfit Sons of Sylvia is comprised of three of the nine Clark brothers who wanted to honor their mother the best way they knew how.

“When we told Mom we were naming the band after her, she started crying and saying, 'I'm so honored,' ” said Austin, who plays dobro and sings backup. The other brothers in the trio are Ashley (guitar, fiddle and lead vocals) and Adam (mandolin, guitar and backup vocals).

You may not know their name, or their melodic country ballads, but after touring with Carrie Underwood for most of 2010 and finding a couple singles off their 2010 album, “Revelation,” getting heavy radio airplay, Austin said audiences are starting to pay more attention.

The trio opens for Underwood on Sunday, Dec. 12, at Brick Breeden Field House in Bozeman. The show was moved from MetraPark's Rimrock Auto Arena after a tornado tore the roof off in June.

For Austin, the towns are becoming a blur, but not the fans. When he spoke with The Gazette by phone, he struggled to come up with the name of the town he was in, finally coming up with St. Louis.

“You get out there, we're still pretty new and everything, and it's been a ground-swelling of friends and fans. We're really big on Twitter and Facebook and the fans are growing. It's like hanging out with your friends every night. I love it.”

Back home in Rocky Mount, Va., where the Clark boys and their two sisters grew up, there wasn't much TV time. The Clarks preferred picking and singing.

“We played every single night, sometimes until 4 in the morning. My mom was the singer and my dad would sing and play. We learned how to sing from my mom and play from dad.”

The Clark Brothers, a previous incarnation of the band, beat out 10,000 contestants to win Fox TV's “Next Great American Band.'' Ashley also toured as Underwood's fiddle player and backup vocalist and, in April, Underwood introduced Sons of Sylvia on “American Idol” as her “favorite guys.” Underwood showcases the Clarks every night when she brings them on stage during her set to sing “What Can I Say” with her.

“It's been an absolute miracle to be out here. We're just really thankful,” Austin said.