Here is another exciting show from Clarence Clemons, better known as the Big Man, from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. This King Biscuit show was one of several taped on his first ever solo tour with his own band, the Red Bank Rockers.
A limited vocalist, Clemons was smart enough to enlist a red-hot soul singer in his band, the extraordinary John JT Bowen. Obviously, Clemons' wailing sax work is incredible, but Bowen (who sings like a young Wilson Pickett) gives the songs their real appeal. In addition to a few instrumental rockers, the set has remarkable variety.
Clemons did several favorites from his first LP. "Jump Start My Heart," "Rock N' Roll DJ," and "A Woman's Got The Power," are worked into the lively musical set that also includes two Springsteen songs, the incomplete "Savin' Up," written for Clemons by Springsteen specifically for this band and album, and "Fire," which had been a hit for the Pointer Sisters, Robert Gordon, and the Boss himself. Clemons also does a strong cover of Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long," and an instrumental take on the 1964 Beatles classic, "A Hard Day's Night."
A former pro football player, Clemons used his skills on the saxophone to build a musical career, but used his enormous size and dark sense of humor to build his stage persona. It is clear from the audience's response that Clemons was able to prove he was far more than a sideman for Bruce Springsteen. Clemons is smart not to try and turn the show into an extensive instrumental sax jam. He balances his soaring solos with well-crafted rock and soul-pop material.