The Clark Family Experience was an American country music band composed of six brothers, all with the surname Clark: Alan (guitar, vocals), Aaron (bass guitar, vocals), Adam (mandolin, vocals), Ashley (fiddle), Andrew (drums), and Austin (lap steel guitar, keyboards), all natives of the state of Virginia.
Signed to Curb Records in 2000, The Clark Family Experience debuted on the American country music scene that year with the release of their single "Meanwhile Back at the Ranch". A Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, the song also became the thirteenth highest-selling single in the history of country music at the time. "Meanwhile Back at the Ranch" was the first of four chart singles from their self-titled debut album, released in 2000 as well. Due to a series of financial problems, however, the band declared bankruptcy and disbanded later that year.
The six members of The Clark Family Experience -- Aaron, Adam, Alan, Andrew, Ashley and Austin -- are part of a musically inclined family that comprises the eleven children of Freddy and Sylvia Clark. All six boys first performed professionally in 1993, eventually assuming the name The Clark Family Experience.
The band was signed as "series regulars" on The Oak Ridge Boys' 1998 television show on The Nashville Network, Live From Las Vegas. The show aired 15 episodes, and although just a modest success, it introduced the band to a nationwide audience.
Curb Records signed The Clark Family Experience to a recording contract in 2000. The band also served as an opening act for several country musicians, including Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. McGraw also co-produced The Clark Family Experience's self-titled debut album, which was issued in 2001 as well. The album produced a total of four singles on the Billboard country music charts, including "Meanwhile Back at the Ranch", which soon became a Top 20 hit on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, as well as the thirteenth highest-selling single in the history of country music at the time. The album's second single, "Standin' Still", peaked at No. 36, while the third and fourth singles both failed to reach Top 40.
A year after the release of their debut album, The Clark Family Experience filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The band owed more than $800,000 in debt to Curb, citing mismanagement and unfair contracts from the label as the reasons for their debt.
Curb then attempted to dismiss the Clark brothers' bankruptcies, claiming that the band was trying to exit its contract. In addition, the label tried to seek an injunction to keep the band from recording for any other label. By August 2003, the label had dropped the suit. The Clark Family Experience disbanded soon afterward. Adam, Ashley, and Austin reunited in 2008 as The Clark Brothers and won the TV competition The Next Great American Band that year. In 2009, this trio changed its name to Sons of Sylvia.
|U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums||68|
|2000||"Meanwhile Back at the Ranch"|