Southern Indiana Living

JUL-AUG 2017

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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July/August 2017 • 39 Take a Turn in the Right Direction P.O. Box 279 Corydon, IN 47112 (812) 738-6668 Give us a call to learn how you can support your favorite cause with gift planning. to be a musician. Meanwhile, Clarence's health was declin- ing, and he'd previously voiced the unspeakable possibility of Jake someday taking over. When the worst came to pass, Bruce asked Jake to come aboard. "I didn't know if I wanted the band to even continue," he says. "Not like it was my choice. I knew what the right thing to do was, but it was hard initially." He discussed it with his friend Glen Han- sard of the band The Swell Season, whose depic- tion as street musicians in the film "Once" had given Jake the courage to take up singing. "After Clarence had passed, there was this fork in the road and Glen said that I just had to be two people. I goĴa carry the mantle, and I've goĴa be me. They're both important. … Part of me would love to know what forging my own way would look like, but I'm here for a reason, and I embrace that. "I'm grateful for all the people who come to the show expecting to hear a sax show or not anticipating me playing guitar, and that they find a connection and the music itself is mean- ingful to the audience. That means a lot to me." Now, after nearly two years of traveling the globe with Springsteen, Clemons is back on the road promoting Fear & Love. It's a probing and seasoned album about leĴing go of the past and willing yourself onto positive footing — "explor- ing a new fearless ability to live," as he has said. Besides losing his uncle, Clemons' recent past in- cludes the dissolution of a long relationship (he has a 9-year-old daughter) and the death of his father after a 2014 house fire. The music is rock 'n' roll, and Clemons' gentle voice, which occa- sionally recalls BreĴ Dennen, can also jump to a higher register and even falseĴo. He's always been an emotive writer, he says, "but the concept of having to resolve those emotions by the end of the song became a much more difficult thing that required me to be more thoughtful about where I am today, and to be reflective. "(The album) is a storyline — it has a side 1 and side 2," he adds. "It's a concept record in the sense that there's a narrative. You listen from beginning to end and find yourself at the other end of the story. … There is no room for fear in love. They're opposing forces that certainly exist inside of us, but one is pushing at the other." Before we wrap, we discuss the song "Ja- nine." It's a show-stopper he wrote after read- ing the terrifying statistics around domestic violence. He recently released a haunting video, and he's working with do- mestic violence organizations to force the taboo topic into the open. "We've all been in really hard relationships, whether it's physical abuse or verbal abuse, and we can get trapped sometimes," he says. "If you are afraid to get out of the situation, it's a clear indicator that you should not be in it and you've got to talk to somebody. You've goĴa get help." SUNDAY NIGHT (SHOW TIME) Two hours later, Clemons walks onstage for his scheduled set. He comes out alone, straps on a guitar and strums the chords to Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come." But he's in the wrong key. He stops playing and laughs, at- taches a capo to his fretboard and begins again. The next song is solo as well, and Jake tries to record a guitar loop and play along on sax. But the recording gadget acts up and the PA crackles with static. I have a friend who won't aĴend live theater because she's too worried the actors will flub their lines. Now I'm feeling hor- rible for Jake as the audience fidgets. But it's only rock 'n' roll. Things fall in line, he plays the song, Jake Clemens and Mark Rashotte

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