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.
They made it! Both Cliff Wagner and the Old #7 and The Clark Brothers got enough votes to keep them on Next Great American Band for another week. Friday’s show was only an hour long, so the eight remaining bands each played one song from the catalog of Billy Joel.
Cliff Wagner and the Old #7 chose You May Be Right from "the old Kentucky fox hunter Billy Joel" and gave it a laid-back country shuffle treatment, with Cliff trading the banjo for a guitar. Two judges loved in, but Dicko, reliably cantankerous, deemed it a "soporific, sleepy" arrangement.
The Clark Brothers played seventh (a little nail-biting going on by that time) and did a slow beautiful rendition of She’s Got A Way, with Ashley on fiddle, Adam on guitar, and Austin, as usual, on dobro. All three judges proclaimed their song the best of the night.
Now the stiff competition begins as all the bands left are quite good, have excellent musicianship and vocals, and are improving all the time. Next week bands tackle the songs of early rock & roll writing team Lieber and Stoller. Be sure to tune in Friday the 16th and phone in those votes!
You can watch previous weeks’ performances on the NGAB site.