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The Clarks rock the stage at Fayette County Fair

Lori C. Padilla | for the Daily Courier
The Clarks filled the outdoor arena on Friday evening during their annual show at the Fayette County Fair. Connellsville native Scott Blasey (right) and guitarist Robert James belt out a fan favorite, 'Cigarette,' which immortalizes the fair.

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Saturday, July 27, 2013, 1:31 a.m.
 

Just minutes before The Clarks rocked the stage Friday night at the Fayette County Fair, Connellsville native and lead singer Scott Blasey said it was really awesome to be home.

“It's a beautiful day,” Blasey said. “It's really nice that we're playing outside tonight.”

Blasey said he can still remember the first time The Clarks played at the Fayette County Fair in 1995 — almost a decade after he formed the band with original members Rob James, Greg Joseph and Dave Minarik when they were students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

About three years ago, keyboarder Skip Sanders and pedal steel player Gary Jacob joined the band, Blasey said.

Blasey, who now lives in Peters Township near Pittsburgh, said he ate dinner with his parents, Don and Marie Blasey of Connellsville, before heading to the Fayette County Fair.

“My mother and my aunt are coming to see us tonight,” he said. “They are coming backstage before the show starts. I feel very good about tonight's show. I'm very excited to be here.”

Blasey said his wife, Denise, and their three children — Sofia, who he said is 8 going on 14, Ava, 6, and Gracelyn, 4 — couldn't make the show.

“My family is at home right now. They couldn't make it tonight,” said Blasey, who has the names of his parents, wife and children tattooed on his right arm.

Blasey said he is very excited because The Clarks are in the process of recording a new album titled “Feathers and Bones.” The album is expected to be released in late September or early October.

“This album is going to be a little bit different because Sean McDonald, our producer, has been a lot more involved,” he said. “I feel very good about it. We might release it on our own record label, but we're not sure yet.”

Before The Clarks played, Andrew Agostini, 20, of Uniontown was listening to the opening act, Tres Lads, an acoustic rock band from Pittsburgh.

Agostini, who plays lead guitar and sings in his own band, The Lucky Strikes, called Blasey and The Clarks “his heroes.”

“The Clarks are great because there's no gimmick,” Agostini said. “It's straight up rock and roll. They don't have big heads. They are very humble.”

Agostini said he was in eighth grade and playing with his first band, No Tomorrow, when he saw The Clarks for the first time.

“I remember meeting Scott Blasey,” Agostini said. “He gave me a guitar pick and signed his autograph. I was so excited.”

Several years later, Agostini said Blasey and The Clarks actually played in the basement of his house as a Christmas present to the Agostini family.

“I was a sophomore in high school at the time,” he said. “It was awesome. We actually jammed with The Clarks. They played a couple of songs for us. It was pretty cool.”

Sara Daum, 29, of Pittsburgh said she came to The Clarks show because her boyfriend, Jean-Marc Azoury, is the lead singer of Tres Lads. The Pittsburgh-based band also features Freddie Nelson and Kevin McDonald.

“I'm actually here to see my boyfriend,” Daum said. “I was lucky enough to be off work this weekend. I was so excited to come to the Fayette County Fair to see the goats.”

Daum said Tres Lads frequently opens for The Clarks.“They are everywhere,” she said.

Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer.

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