The Clarks and Chris Higbee ... Native sons take fair stage|
Thursday, August 02, 2012
By Josh Woods Staff Writer
The Clarks and Chris Higbee delighted a group of their fellow diehard Pennsylvanians last night at Clearfield County Fair as part of the Western PA Toyota Dealers 2012 concert series. The Clarks, formed 26 years ago at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Higbee, formerly of Povertyneck Hillbillies, brought contrasting musical styles to the grandstand stage.
The Clarks, comprised of vocalist Scott Blasey, guitarist Robert James, bassist Greg Joseph and drummer David Minarik, played for more than an hour and a half before a sparse, but enthusiastic, fair crowd.
The Pennsylvania rockers played a collection of songs spanning most of their albums. The band played tunes featured on their "Love Gone Sour," "Suspicion," and "Bad Debt," "Someday Maybe," "Let It Go," "Restless Days," and self-titled albums. The band's first album, "I'll Tell You What Man" debuted in 1988.
Last night's performance continued The Clarks' exposure to a central Pennsylvania audience. The band has previously performed at Clarion, Indiana and Lock Haven universities and at Treasure Lake Ski Lodge, and has had notable success in the western half of the state.
Though The Clarks' singles "Butterflies and Airplanes," "Bona Fide," and "On Saturday," were old hat for a handful of tried and true fans, a number of those in attendance were exposed to The Clarks standbys for the first time.
"This was my first time seeing The Clarks, and they were fantastic," said Tanya Brooks of Lock Haven. "I'm going to follow up with some CDs and some downloads. I would definitely see them again."
The Clarks were up to snuff with their core of diehards, as well, performing a number of singles, including "Hey You," "Penny on the Floor," "Born Too Late," "Better Off Without You," and "Shimmy Low." Their hit single "Cigarette" drew the crowd's best reaction of the night after a handful of fans tossed Blasey a smoke and a lighter.
"Do you stir coffee with this thing," said Blasey. "I see it's a Virginia Slim. I'll just, um, I'll save that for later."
"I've seen The Clarks before, and they put a great show every time," said Ryan Collins, formerly of Curwensville. "Despite the low attendance they were good."
The energetic fiddle maniac Chris Higbee opened last evening's show with a heavy dose of country music.
Higbee, an established musician on Pennsylvania's fair circuit, delighted the crowd with his competitive and fearless antics.
He joined fellow band mates Melissa Higbee, Mark Vinsick, Dean Minerva and Ben Bond for a worthy kickoff to the show.
Higbee's 30-minute set included "One Step Ahead of the Blues," "Wild and Crazy," "Write to Me," and the crowd's favorite, "Fiddle's Rock."
During "Fiddle's Rock," Higbee engaged Vinsick in a guitar versus fiddle battle. Pitting "Eruption" and "Sweet Child of Mine" on the guitar against the likes of "Irish Washer Woman," and "Teenage Wasteland" on the fiddle, the duo impressed the crowd with their individual skills. Higbee took his fiddle playing to literally new heights, climbing aboard a lift near the track and playing high above the crowd.
"I loved it, man," said Joe Evilsizor of Clearfield. "It was pretty cool to see Chris Higbee up there head banging with a fiddle. I came to see The Clarks but Higbee was pretty good. If you don't like either of these bands I'd say you don't like music."