Then they made the change uptown/ And the Big Man Joined the Band/ From the coastline to the city/All the little pretties raised their hands...
When Clarence Clemons died in June, 2011, the "Big Man" credited in Bruce Springsteen's "Tenth Avenue Freezeout" as the final piece that propelled the E Street Band into the spotlight, it was a death in the family for Springsteen, band members and fans around the world.
As Springsteen finished "Wrecking Ball", the band's 17th album, to be released March 6, knew he can't replace Clemons, but he and the E Street band will keep it in the family when they take to the stage for the tour this year.
Springsteen will fill the sonic and emotional void left by the man who occupied the corner of the stage to Springsteen's right for decades with a five-piece horn section that will include Jake Clemons, Clarence's nephew. On Springsteen's Facebook page, the post read:
"The expanded line up for this Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour features singers Cindy Mizelle and Curtis King, trombonist Clark Gayton and trumpeter Curt Ramm, all of whom have toured with Bruce Springsteen in the past along with newcomer Barry Danielian on trumpet. E Street stalwart Eddie Manion and first time tour member Jake Clemons, will share the saxophone role."
Last year, Clemons released "It's On." his first first CD. He recently performed during the Light of Day concert series on January 11 at the Canal Room in New York City. The multi-talented singer-songwriter, who also plays guitar and piano, performed "Overshadowed," from the CD during a recent gig at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Clemons exhibits a singer-songwriter vibe with heavy guitar and piano influence on "Love'll Never Change".
Clemons first jumped into the national spotlight in 1992, when he was invited to the play the saxophone during President Bill Clinton's inauguration. Manion, an original member of Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, also will perform on sax. Trombonist Gayton and trumpeter Ramm toured with Springsteen during his "Seeger Sessions" concerts. Violinist Soozie Tyrell, a "Seeger Sessions" performer, will join the tour with newcomer Barry Danielian on trumpet. Singers singers Cindy Mizelle and Curtis King, who've also toured with Springsteen round out the roster.
The five local shows — April 3 and 4 at Izod Center on, April 6 and 9 at Madison Square Garden and May 2 for the band's first show at the Prudential Center in Newark. The band will then go to Europe from mid-May through July. It is expected they're return to the U.S. for a stadium tour in the summer.
This isn't the band's first time touring with heavy hearts. Original E Street keyboard player and accordianis Danny Fererici, died in 2008. So as Steven Van Zandt, Max Weinberg, Gary W. Tallent, Roy Bittan, Patti Scialfa — the band Springsteen introduces in concert as "the heart-stompin', earthquakin', history-makin', air-conditioner-shaking, legendary E STREET BAND" prepares for the next act, will channel their lost brothers as they perform.