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Ashley Clark

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Biography

Ashley Clark seemed like a promising newcomer when his song "Greyhound" began making its way up the country charts in 2015, but the truth is Clark was a seasoned veteran with plenty of experience under his belt. Hailing from Rocky Mount, Virginia, he was born on December 8, 1980, and grew up in a musical household, with most of his ten siblings playing instruments. In 1993, Ashley and his brothers Aaron, Adam, Alan, Andrew, and Austin formed a band, and soon began performing professionally, with Ashley on fiddle, guitar, and vocals. In 1998, the group, now known as the Clark Family Experience, were hired as regulars on a TV variety show starring the Oak Ridge Boys for the Nashville Network; the show only lasted 15 episodes, but it gave the group nationwide exposure, and they were soon signed to a contract with Curb Records. The Clark Family Experience scored a hit single in 2000 with the song "Meanwhile Back at the Ranch," and the group toured as an opening act for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, but follow-up singles didn't fare as well, and by the time their self-titled album (co-produced by McGraw) was released in 2002, the group had filed for bankruptcy, and in 2003 they split up. In 2005, Ashley took a road gig with Carrie Underwood, playing fiddle in her touring band. In 2008, Ashley and his brothers Adam and Austin returned as a trio who competed on the FOX-TV music competition series The Next Great American Band; the group, known as the Clark Brothers, won the grand prize, and in 2009 changed their name to Sons of Sylvia (the handle was in tribute to their mother, Sylvia Clark). Sons of Sylvia won a record deal with 19 Records, and the group backed Carrie Underwood on one track on her 2009 album Play On. In April 2010, Sons of Sylvia released their debut album, Revelations, but while the album rose to 33 on the Billboard album charts and the group toured in support as Underwood's opening act, they were released from their record contract in 2012. Ashley struck out on his own, and as a solo act, he made some valuable allies. Robert John "Mutt" Lange, the producer who had helped make classic hard rock albums with AC/DC and Def Leppard and went on to groom Shania Twain into one of country's biggest stars, liked Clark's voice and his style, and agreed to produce his solo debut. In 2015, Clark signed a new record deal with I.R.S. Nashville, and the Greyhound EP was released in June 2015. ~ Mark Deming
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