Marshall Crenshaw Comes to Yoshi’s

by E. "Doc" Smith on April 27, 2012

Marshall Crenshaw’s magnificent, “Blues is King” is one of my all-time, personal favorite songs, and I can hardly believe it’s been 25 years since breaking through to critical and commercial acclaim with his 1982 self-titled debut and era-defining pop hit “Someday, Someway.” Crenshaw returns with an incredible new chapter in his career with his 429 Records debut “Jaggedland”, his first studio recording in more than six years is his most musically dynamic and lyrically intimate collection yet. Next Monday, April 30th, Crenshaw rolls into Yoshi’s San Francisco with what promises to be another, unforgettable evening of music.

“Classic Crenshaw attributes including an indelible sense of melody and tuneful essence combine to create a rich warmth and intimacy on every song of Jaggedland. The recording has a powerful vibe of immediacy thanks to Crenshaw’s warm vocals and riveting guitar work. He takes the production to its highest levels working with a roster of well known musical heroes and veteran producers. Crenshaw first recorded two tracks in Upstate New York with Stewart Lerman (The Roches, Dar Williams), the melancholy “Sunday Blues” and the fiery rocker “Someone Told Me.” Crenshaw did seven of the tracks at Sage and Sound Studios in Los Angeles with producer/engineer Jerry Boys (REM, Richard Thompson, Buena Vista Social Club), who had been his “wish list” since he heard the Mambo Sinuendo album Boys engineered for Ry Cooder and Cuban guitarist Manuel Galban in 2003. Highlights of these West Coast sessions are “Passing Through,” the hopeful “Eventually” and the powerful “Long Hard Road.”

A quote from Trouser Press sums up Marshall Crenshaw’s early career: “Although he was seen as a latter-day Buddy Holly at the outset, he soon proved too talented and original to be anyone but himself.” All Music Guide captured Crenshaw’s vibe perfectly: “He writes songs that are melodic, hooky and emotionally true, and he sings and plays them with an honesty and force that still finds room for humor without venom.”

As Crenshaw was developing Jaggedland’s mix of poignant and incisive love songs and musings on mortality, he ventured once again into the film world, co-penning the title track to the hilarious, critically acclaimed John C. Reilly film “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”; the track was nominated for a 2008 Golden Globe and a 2008 Grammy Award.

Over the last few years, Crenshaw has played 40 – 50 shows a year on what he dubs “the NPR singer-songwriter circuit.” Says Crenshaw, “This album took a lot of wear and tear on my emotions, but in the end I think it’s one of my best ever and I am so excited to have worked with so many of my favorite players on it. When people ask me why I keep making music after all these years, I have a simple answer: because I have to. For lack of a more colorful term, there is truly something magical to it and I never take it for granted.”

Marshall Crenshaw – Solo Acoustic
Yoshi’s San Francisco
Monday, April 30th @ 8pm
Tickets $15 adv, $18 at the door

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