Our first glimpse into the heart and soul of Jake Clemons came in 2013 with release of his debut EP, Embracing Light. With just a few original songs, this gifted singer and multi-instrumentalist offered a bewitching hint at how much he had to say and the intricate way he said it. Now, with Jake’s current full-length album Fear & Love (released in January 2017,) we are allowed a deeper appreciation of what Clemons has to offer.
There’s the hair, then there are the glasses, but ultimately there is a person who is a magnet for positive energy, emotion and creating stories. In short, Jake continues to make a deep connection in the present by living life to its’ fullest through a musical journey.
Growing up in Virginia as the son of a Marine Corps band director and as the nephew of the legendary Clarence Clemons, Jake began his musical career studying jazz performance at the Virginia Governor’s School For The Arts. Over the years while crafting his skills in writing and recording, Jake’s musical ability evolved to include vocals,guitar, piano, drums and of course, the saxophone.
The Jake Clemons Band was created in 2010 and since then Jake has been living on a perpetual world tour, traveling throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe, performing at venues and “Legendary Living Room” shows across the globe. Jake has graced many stages performing alongside a variety of artists including Tom Morello, Glen Hansard, The Swell Season, The Roots, Roger Waters and Eddie Vedder to name a few.
Dividing his time between touring the world with his own music and spending the last five years as the tenor and baritone saxophonist with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band (stepping in for his Uncle, the late Clarence Clemons,) Jake had time to think of the sound and the direction for Fear & Love, laying the first parts of this album’s foundation at the same time that his EP Embracing Light was in progress.
“When I put Embracing Light together, I changed the way that I approached recording. A lot of that was due to a conversation that I had with Bruce about having a theme and a concept for each record. Because some of the songs he had written did not quite fit the “Embracing Light” theme, Clemons set them aside knowing that Fear & Love was going in a different direction. “It’s more introspective,” he explains. “Instead of looking up at the moment and carrying hope to the next moment, this album reflects the ‘right now that you feel inside’ as opposed to the ‘right now” that’s external.”
Fear & Love is clearly but one step in what promises to be a long path leading ever deeper into the poetic essence of Jake Clemons. Already he is an artist in his own right, with an eloquence and passion that’s rare even among the legends of music. Perhaps the most exciting part of this picture is its confirmation that much more can be expected from this extraordinary talent.
“There are things I’m still sorting out, things I’ll be exploring in years to come,” he affirms. “Even now, I’m still a work in progress.”