Clarence Clemons - saxophone, vocals
John J.T. Bowen - lead vocals
David Landau - guitar
Lloyd Landesman - keyboards
Hugh McDonald - bass
Jack Scarangella - drums
Dennis Amoruso - saxophones, keyboards
Clearly a fan of rock 'n' roll and R&B, Clarence Clemons had a solid solo project for many years while playing as a member of the E Street Band. By bringing on old friend J.T. Bowen to handle duties on lead vocals, Clemons was able to assemble the Red Bank Rockers - mainly on the strength of his celebrity status as one of Springsteen's musical sidekicks.
Clemons' collaboration with the Red Band Rockers picks up right where the E Street Band left off. Introduced for this show by DJ Randy Kahn of WYSP-FM in Philadelphia, the crowd is jubilant - not only because they're about to see a Clemons solo show, but also because the proceedings were being recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour.
The band really was the perfect vehicle for Clemons, who dominates each song with his blistering sax riffs and solos. Musically, their sound falls somewhere between a classic '60s Stax soul band and an 80s party rock group like The Romantics. Credit must be given to John J.T. Bowen, though, who leads with his raspy Wilson Pickett-influenced voice. Clemons had actually charted a solo hit with the Jackson Browne-penned "You Are a Friend of Mine," but for some reason that song was not performed for this show.
They close with an eight-minute version of "Savin' Up," which was written by the Boss himself for the Big Man. Clarence Clemons and the Red Bank Rockers remained a side project, but on any given night during this tour, they could have been the hottest bar band in the country. For proof, all you've got to do is listen in.