This report comes from Casey Henry, a banjo player and writer living in Nashville, TN. She performed the past few years with her brother, Chris, in The Two Stringers, now disbanded.
The Clark Brothers delivered another truly outstanding performance on last night’s Next Great American Band. Their version of Rod Stewart’s You’re In My Heart was a stripped-down, acoustic beauty. They sat on stools with Ashley on guitar, Adam on mando, and Austin on dobro and harmony vocals. Their moving, sensitive performance judge brought Sheila E to tears. She literally couldn’t say anything after hearing them play. John Rzeznik said, "I’m really moved. You guys take a song and attach all the emotion to it." A song like that will, "make guys hate you and make women love you." And Dicko added, "You brought something magical. You always do."
We got to see a little segment of the boys talking about their musical influences. What they said sounded so familiar to me, and probably to anyone else who grew up in a bluegrass family. Ashley said he didn’t hear the Beatles until he was sixteen and was surprised to find that they were really good, since his dad had always dismissed them for not having a banjo. Austin said the first time he saw Jerry Douglas play he bought every one of his CDs, even though he didn’t have a CD player at the time! There were a couple of clips of the Clark Family playing, with all the other brothers and their dad, when the boys were younger. They looked so familiar to me because that’s what they looked like back when we used to play at some of the same bluegrass festivals.
I think the Clarks have a good chance of moving on to next week. I just hope all the people who are voting agree! You can watch Cliff Wagner and the Old #7’s final performance online now, as well as all the other bands songs.