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Sons of Sylvia get big break touring with Carrie Underwood
The sibling trio Sons of Sylvia will open for Oklahoma-born country music superstar Carrie Underwood tonight at Oklahoma City's Ford Center.
BY BRANDY McDONNELL Oklahoman 0 Published: October 20, 2010


What can they say? Sons of Sylvia adore Carrie Underwood.



"Working with Carrie is an absolute dream, honor, pleasure. It's amazing. I don't know what to say; it couldn't get any better," said Austin Clark, who makes up the country-rock trio with his brothers Ashley and Adam. "She's like an angel."

For Sons of Sylvia, the Oklahoma native does seem heaven-sent. Not only did Underwood invite the band to record the duet "What Can I Say" for her 2009 platinum-selling album "Play On," she also asked them to open the more than 100 shows on her "Play On" tour. The blockbuster tour will make a stop tonight at Oklahoma City's Ford Center.

A year after "Play On" debuted, Clark still sounds shocked when he talks about the opportunity to collaborate with Checotah's favorite daughter.

"Literally she could work with anyone in the world — you name it, from Bono to Aerosmith to everyone country, anyone, no limits — and she wanted us to do a duet with her. It was mind-blowing, really. I mean, we're nobody," he said with a laugh. "I remember Ashley grabbed her by the shoulders and said, 'Are you sure you know what you're doing?'"

For Underwood, helping her fans discover a group they might not hear otherwise is one of the rewards of superstardom. Ashley Clark fiddled in her band for a couple of years after she won the 2005 edition of "American Idol," so she knew the trio had the musical chops to cut a track with her.

"It's really wonderful when you come across people that are nice and so genuine and are so talented, and they certainly are," she said in a separate phone interview from the road. "They're people you want to see good things happen for."

While Underwood has given the trio a big boost, the music business hasn't always been kind to Sons of Sylvia. The Clarks, three of 11 children born to preacher parents, started out in a sextet with three of their other siblings. The Clark Family Experience recorded an album for Curb Records in 2002 before disbanding and filing for bankruptcy a year later, according to AllMusic.com.

Austin, Ashley and Adam Clark regrouped as the Clark Brothers in 2007 and won the Fox reality series "The Next Great American Band." Since their music — now a fusion of country, bluegrass and rock — was evolving, they decided to change their band name to Sons of Sylvia in honor of their mother.

The group released its debut album, "Revelation," in April on Interscope Records/19 Recordings. Ashley Clark co-wrote the first single, "Love Left to Lose," with their cousin, Ryan Tedder of pop band OneRepublic.

Not only is music part of the family tradition, Austin Clark feels like it is their destiny, one Underwood is helping them achieve. Every night of the tour, Sons of Sylvia join the "Idol" during her set to play "What Can I Say."

"It's what we've always done, we grew up doing it, and (it's) literally the only thing I love doing," he said. "I just think if you give something everything you've got, if you never give up on your dream and constantly pursue it no matter what, it has a way of evolving into reality eventually."