RAPID CITY JOURNAL

Return to Sons of Sylvia

Sons of Sylvia: Underwood openers on a tear in ’10

Eric Lochridge Journal staff rapidcityjournal.com | Posted: Friday, December 3, 2010 12:00 am |

Since winning Fox’s “The Next Great American Band” in 2007, country trio Sons of Sylvia – then known as the Clark Brothers — has been on the verge of a breakthrough. And thanks to a high-profile boost from “American Idol” earlier this year, the band is likely to look back on 2010 as the year it broke big.

The band of three brothers released a new album, “Revelation,” in April, and its performance on “American Idol” put the album on the map.

“Right after we did that, the album went to No. 1 on the pop iTunes chart. We weren’t expecting that at all. It’s been a crazy year,” said Austin Clark, who plays dobro and lap steel.

But even before the “Idol” appearance, there were signs that success was in the offing for the Sons of Sylvia. The band secured the opening slot on Carrie Underwood’s tour in March and has been performing with her since then.

“Carrie asked us to do a duet on her record, and right after that, she asked us to be the opening act for her tour. The tour started in March, so we’ve been gone all year,” Clark said. “It goes right up until Christmas, so I’m going to have to do some Internet shopping.”

He said that touring with Underwood and her band has been a rewarding experience, and audiences seem to enjoy the Sons of Sylvia’s show.

“Carrie’s been so good. She introduces us to the audience every night, and they warm up to us really quick,” Clark said.

Clark and his brothers — Ashley Clark on lead vocals, acoustic guitar and fiddle, and Adam Clark on mandolin and acoustic guitar — formed the Clark Brothers to compete on “The Next Great American Band.” After winning the contest handily, the trio eventually changed its name to Sons of Sylvia, inspired by the Clarks’ mother.

Austin Clark describes the band’s sound as “a fusion of things, really.”

“Everyone has their own opinion on it,” he said. “It’s a little bit country; it’s a little bit rock ’n’ roll.”

Although being in a band with family members has its drawbacks, Clark said overall it’s a positive thing.

“We kind of joke around that the good thing about it is you’re family, and the bad thing about it is you’re family,” he said. “At the end of the day, you can walk it off because you’re family and you love each other.”