Walking into a gig not having any expectations is something different for me; I usually know the artist or have done some research & am familiar with at least some of their catalogue. For Mr. Jake Clemons, however, it's a very different story. All I knew was that he has an impressive resume including touring with my first music crush, "The Boss" Bruce Springsteen, plus other heroes Eddie Vedder and The Roots. Of course, this information was enough to tweak my interest & make me very curious as to what an experience this evening would be.
As Jake walked on stage, he immediately commanded our undivided attention in the most humble way. From the very first chord, his passion and talent had the whole audience captivated. Engaging in banter between songs strengthened the connection with artist and punters, with participation imminent. His acoustic stories are both relevant and inspirational; true reflections of life experience with a score that is compelling. His sound is soulful rock 'n' roll, acoustic, electric and fully engaging with his EP Embracing Light having the best examples of his gift for us to share.
Just when I thought the amazing show was coming to a close, Jake having performed a range of his solo numbers to perfection, invited a quartet of young local musicians onstage to join him. Jake went on to explain that his band weren't able to join him in the country as yet, so with the help of his tour manager (also the current drummer) pulled these guys together last minute. From local duets, the Fortuners and Folklore, Nick, Drew, Rick, and Sam spent less than an hour with Jake to rehearse that afternoon. Listening to the vibes emanating from the stage, you wouldn't think so little time could produce such aural pleasure.
The connection and energy betwixt these five craftsmen were that undeniable magic was being made on stage and we were all a part of it. Jake played guitar like a pro, rising and falling with the vocal tone and pitch perfectly, then picked up a saxophone and made Kenny G look like an amateur...but wait, there's more. He then hits the keys like it's a second language. This man is a guru and I applaud in awe as he most graciously thanked everyone present for their involvement in this deeply touching performance. What a showman, that was truly a real treat to behold.
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