A guitar pop craftsman of the highest order, Marshall Crenshaw has been churning out popular rock and roll songs since the early 80s. Hits like ‘Someday, Someway’ and ‘Cynical Girl’ launched the singer-songwriter into the pantheon of power pop luminaries, and with the release of an acclaimed EP just last May, it’s clear Crenshaw’s melodic gifts haven’t dimmed.
Born near Detroit, Michigan, Marshall Crenshaw began playing guitar at age ten and found himself in a variety of rock bands throughout his teen years. His first break came when, after he moved to New York, he was cast as John Lennon in the off-Broadway company of the musical Beatlemania. Following this stint in musical theater, Crenshaw and his band immersed themselves in the clubs of the city’s burgeoning new wave scene. He recorded the single ‘Something’s Gonna Happen’ for Shake Records, which then led to a deal with Warner Bros. His debut album, Marshall Crenshaw was acclaimed as a pop masterpiece upon its release in 1982 and established him as a first-rate songwriter, singer and guitarist. The record spawned the Top 40 single ‘Someday, Someway’ and other classics such as ‘(You’re My) Favorite Waste of Time,’ ‘Whenever You’re On My Mind’ and ‘Cynical Girl.’
Subsequent albums like Field Day and Downtown featured Crenshaw mining the same infectious, melodic pop territory, the talented songwriter steadily growing a devoted, cult audience. Following the release of 2009’s Jaggedland, Crenshaw made a pointed shift away from the standard record label template, creating a vinyl subscription service and recording a series of crowd-sourced EP’s to have a more direct relationship with his audience. His last EP, Grab the Next Train, came out this past May.
‘His intelligence, integrity, and passion for the great song always show up in his music.’ Robert Christgau, Dean of American Rock Critics