Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Marshall Crenshaw at City Winery

Marshall Crenshaw was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in the suburb of Berkley, began playing guitar at age 10, and led a band through his high school years. He later played John Lennon in the musical Beatlemania, first as an understudy in New York in 1978, then in the West Coast company, and finally in a national touring company in 1980. Crenshaw began performing his original songs in New York City music clubs and in 1982 had a top 40 hit with the Buddy Holly-esque "Someday, Someway." Crenshaw appeared in the films La Bamba (in which he portrayed Holly) and Peggy Sue Got Married. Crenshaw has written for movie soundtracks and other songs have been covered by Bette Midler, Kelly Willis, Robert Gordon, Ronnie Spector, Marti Jones, Lou Ann Barton, America and the Gin Blossoms, with whom Crenshaw co-wrote the Top 10 single "Til I Hear It From You." In 1994, he published a book, Hollywood Rock: A Guide to Rock 'n' Roll in the Movies. Since 2011, Crenshaw has hosted The Bottomless Pit radio show  on a local college radio station, playing his massive collection of recorded music. His most recent projects include working on Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger’s HBO series Vinyl. After 10 albums, Crenshaw now frequently releases EPS to his subscribers.

Born in 1953, Marshall Crenshaw grew up listening to 1950s rock and roll and fell into the British Invasion pop resurgence and classic soul in the 1960s. At City Winery tonight, he was backed by the opening act, the country rocking Bottle Rockets, but for the most part he remained true to his rockabilly and pop roots. For much of the set, Crenshaw channeled Holly convincingly, but also offered more, between pop hooks featuring repetitive choruses and singer-songwriter ballads with folk roots or country spines. His compositions also often showed his wry humor, such as in "Cynical Girl" and "You're My Favorite Waste of Time." Marshall sang well and his music was pleasant, but his most compelling charm was the unassuming honesty that permeated his rock and roll performance.

Visit Marshall Crenshaw at www.marshallcrenshaw.com.