If you feel a bit like The Band Perry are a brand new act, you aren't alone. Although the country trio's debut album was released in April 2010, they were just nominated for best new artist at this February's Grammy Awards.
But the group of siblings - Kimberly, 29, Reid, 23, and Neil, 22 - are happy to just wait for the "new" tag to go away on its own.
"I feel like we kind of gauge [our visibility] on how many people show up for our new show," Kimberly said. "The crowds grow and grow. We feel like we're definitely more and more established. It's wonderful."
The Band Perry — (from left)?siblings Reid, Kimberly and Neil Perry — will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at the Clearfield County Fair.
The trio spoke to the Mirror on a joint phone interview last week from Paso Robles, Calif., where they were playing the California Mid-State Fair as Brad Paisley's opening act. The Band Perry has been touring as part of Paisley's "The Escape: Virtual Reality Tour 2012" since January.
Sunday marked the start of a two-week break for Paisley's tour, but the Perry siblings won't be resting. They'll use the time for their own dates, like performing as one of the headliners of this year's Clearfield County Fair. The group will play at 8 p.m. Friday at the Clearfield County Fairgrounds.
Though Kimberly said they haven't performed in the Northeast much recently, they're excited to be playing in Clearfield.
If you go
Who: The Band Perry
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Clearfield County Fairgrounds, Clearfield
Tickets: $33 and $37; tickets can be purchased for The Band Perry or any of the other headlining acts at the gate or online at www.clearfieldcountyfair. com/events
"That is the heartbeat of country music, these fairs and festivals," she said. "We love the whole fair atmosphere. I love the cotton candy. ... We make a little Band Perry day of it."
The Perry trio began in their hometown of Greeneville, Tenn., when Kimberly started her own band as a teenager. Neil and Reid worked first as roadies, then as her opening act, before they even hit their teens. The three of them combined to form The Band Perry in 2005 and worked their way into a recording contract with Republic Nashville in 2009.
The group released "The Band Perry" and struggled to find an audience with opening single "Hip to My Heart." But the band's second single, "If I Die Young," became a sensation when it was released in June 2010. It hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country chart and Adult Contemporary Chart and spend 53 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 14. The song eventually won Song of the Year and Single of the Year at the 2011 Country Music Association Awards.
Their three subsequent singles have hit the Top 10, with "All Your Life" reaching No. 1 on the country charts in February.
Part of the group's appeal is what they call their "modern throwback" style, which mixes country with rock, gospel and soul. Kimberly says the group is "really, really influenced by both the Rolling Stones and Loretta Lynn," Neil said their influences are even larger.
"It's interesting, because we go through musical phases when we're writing," he said. "Like right now we're listening to a lot of Tom Petty and his country side. And I play the mandolin so I'm more influenced by Chris Thile [of Nickel Creek] and Ricky Skaggs and kind of the bluegrass style.
"And Reid plays bass, so he looks up to Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney of the Beatles."
They stay true to their sound on their next album, due to be released later this year, Reid said.
"I feel that [the new music] is just a two-year version of where we were on the last album," he said.
But there's also a new influence on their as-yet-untitled second disc: superstar producer Rick Rubin.
"We're recording with one of our musical hereoes, Rick Rubin," Neil said. "The great thing about Rick is he's not just our producer, he's like our band therapist. He really helped us look at the second album in a new way."
Rubin may be best known for his work in hip-hop - he founded Def Jam Records - and rock, but Kimberly quickly points out his work with country legend Johnny Cash.
"People forget that he did the last five Johnny Cash albums," she said. "He's got such a heart for country music. What it comes down to is the songs. It's just been this wonderful experience."
Neil said that Rubin helped the band block out worries about a "second album slump" and let them focus on their music.
"I don't feel like we've changed anything we've done," Kimberly said. "I think on the second album we're just trying to out-write ourselves. And there's songs on this album that we may like just as much as, or even more than the ones on the first album."
It seems like their fans here in central Pennsylvania are eager to hear that new music. According to Clearfield County Fair publicity director Brenda Morgan, the concert by The Band Perry is much anticipated.
"They are actually, so far, our most popular act this year," she said. "We're excited to have them there. When you get a band that can [take from] different genres of music - it's kind of appealing to a wide variety of people."
The fair, which begins today and runs through Saturday, also features performances by Hot Chelle Rae (8 p.m. Tuesday), The Clarks and Chris Higbee (8 p.m. Wednesday) and Twisted Sister, with Great White and Jac & Jill (7 p.m. Saturday).
"We usually try to cover as many genres as we can," Morgan said. "We try to appeal to the younger generation. Normally, we try to get an oldies group too, but it all depends on who's touring."
Touring with that older generation has been an adventure for The Band Perry. When asked about any advice Paisley has given them during their time together, all three start laughing.
" More advice with Brad comes from his father, who has taught us how to avoid falling for pranks," Kimberly explained. "Brad is a notorious prankster, and that's all I'll say about that. We've learned that the best defense is a good offense.
"We've learned to sleep with one eye open."
Mirror Staff Writer Keith Frederick is at 946-7466.