Pittsburgh-based hit The Clarks seeks ‘Nova fan base

Wilfredo Reyes

The Clarks are a rock and roll quartet with five albums and a bounty of live performances under their belt. They are a rock phenomenon in Pittsburgh, frequently selling out to crowds of 8,000 or more and outselling many of today’s biggest music acts. Currently they are in the middle of a comprehensive tour, hitting spots from North Carolina to Ohio. Tomorrow they play (for free!) at Novafest, Villanova’s year-end “beach” party.

Comprised of a group of four very close knit individuals, The Clarks are a tight group and this closeness shows through in their performance. The group consists of Scott Blasey on guitar, Robert James on six and 12-string guitar, Greg Joseph on bass and David Minarik, Jr. on drums. Though Blasey is lead, all four of them contribute to the vocals. The group started out playing covers at parties while attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania. After they graduated, they moved to Pittsburgh and burst in on the bar scene, building a strong fan base from the outset. They have been a strong band ever since, seven years running.

On the band’s official website, www.clarksonline.com, Blasey jokes that “their career is based on songs about girls and beer,” something to which Villanova students can easily relate to. They have a no-nonsense rock and roll style that emphasizes strong melody and solid lyrics. They incorporate a variety of sonic elements into their show, ranging from keyboards to strings, and all played with a little bit of sass. Not only do they play their own original works, but they have also been known to do covers of Prince, Marvin Gaye and Beatles tunes.

On June 11th, The Clarks release their next album, “Another Happy Ending,” which was produced by Justin Niebank (known for his work with such performers as John Hiatt and Eric Clapton) and released on the record label, Razor and Tie. It will feature “Hey You,” which is getting attention on the radio, along with “Maybe,” the infectious “On Saturday” and the hilarious “Boys Lie.”

If that does not convince you that they play good music, maybe this will: even Playboy named them as a band to watch. Move over Dave Matthews, The Clarks are on the rise.