Of all the Bruce Springsteen tribute acts, none has been around longer or been more visible lately than the New Jersey-based B Street Band. The band made headlines when it played for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s inauguration — Springsteen himself had politely declined.

Of all the Bruce Springsteen tribute acts, none has been around longer or been more visible lately than the New Jersey-based B Street Band.


The band made headlines when it played for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s inauguration — Springsteen himself had politely declined — and showed up later on TV’s “The Daily Show” when Christie was being courted as a presidential candidate.


We caught up with the B Street Band’s “Bruce,” a.k.a. Glenn Stuart, to talk to him about the band and their upcoming shows.


It was a sad year in E Street Nation with the passing of Bruce Springsteen’s longtime bandmate, Clarence Clemons. How did the B Street Band honor him this year, and do you acknowledge him in some way in your shows since his death?


You’re absolutely right, it’s been a sad year on E Street ... We were lucky enough to meet Clarence at an event at The Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fla., earlier this year. Although he was obviously not in the best of health, he took the time to meet us, snap some pictures and chat a bit. He even invited us later in the evening to a private party at The Hard Rock, and Willie (Forte, the B Street Band founder) had the opportunity to speak with him at greater length.


It was very sad to hear of his passing. There is no way that we can “honor” him — he was the Big Man. His contribution to Bruce Springsteen’s career speaks for itself, far more than anything we could ever do or say about him.


Do you think the E Street Band will go on without Clarence, or do you see Springsteen going in a different direction?


I think that the band will continue without Clarence Clemons. It will probably take a whole horn section (maybe two!) to fill his shoes, but the show must go on, as they say. I’d like to see Bruce find some young kid who could play those parts, that would be a great story and maybe change the dynamics of the live shows in a cool sort of way … just my opinion.


Last year, you told us about a young artist you were working with, Kevin Basko, who was headed to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. How is his career going?


Speaking of young artists who can play, I’m happy to say we released Kevin’s first CD, “The Atmosphere,” in May, and we are currently recording tracks now for a second release set for the beginning of next year.


He spent the summer playing around New Jersey and is now in Boston attending Berklee. You can hear Kevin on the radio at jingo.com. Enter his name to hear songs from “The Atmosphere.” You can also visit his website at www.kevinbasko.com.


There was a lot of pressure on Gov. Chris Christie to enter the presidential race, although it looks like it’s not in the cards this time. The B Street Band played his gubernatorial inauguration –– could a trip to a D.C. inauguration be in your future if he eventually reaches the White House?


I have to say, I think the governor made a smart decision about not running. I agree with him that now is not his time … However, a trip to the White House would be nice — maybe someday. Ha!


Contact Peter Chianca at pchianca@wickedlocal.com.