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Marshall Crenshaw and The Bottle Rockets
April 17, 2021 at 1:00 am
Singer and songwriting master Marshall Crenshaw has roots in classic soul music, British Invasion songcraft, Burt Bacharach and Buddy Holly. He is perhaps best known for his Top 40 classic “Someday, Someway”, but is also a noted guitarist who uses offbeat chord progressions and concise solos. A quote from Trouser Press summed 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.” AllMusic Guide described Crenshaw’s style: “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.”
Over the course of a career that’s spanned three decades, 13 albums, Grammy and Golden Globe nominations, film and TV appearances (Buddy Holly in “La Bamba”) and thousands of performances, Marshall Crenshaw’s musical output has maintained a consistent fidelity to the qualities of artfulness, craftsmanship and passion, and his efforts have been rewarded with the devotion of a broad and remarkably loyal fan base. Along with touring around the country and the occasional recording project, Marshall currently hosts his own radio show, “The Bottomless Pit”, every Saturday at 10 PM on New York’s WFUV.
Formed nearly 30 years ago, the Bottle Rockets helped forge a now-popular subgenre—small-town, middle-class, Midwest American roots rock—part right-to-the-gut poetry, part rock ‘n’ roll, all truth. Bit Logic is a different sort of album for the St. Louis natives and shows them at their most self-aware, self-challenging, and socially alert. The band, and their sound and their message, goes beyond a time or a place or a fad. The Bottle Rockets are true folk music, albeit it with beards, biker wallets and a lot more muscle.
Back in a time when the critical language and resulting idioms for mixing underground rock with country was in its infancy, The Bottle Rockets were fearlessly — and quite loudly — playing rootsy weepers alongside howling rave ups, with singer/guitarist Brian Henneman (who paid some dues as a roadie for Uncle Tupelo and playing on their March 16-20, 1992 album and Wilco’s debut A.M.) leading the charge as some sort of Roger Miller of the indie set. It’s a sound propped up (and hopped up) just as much on the pillars of Leslie West & Mountain as it was on those of the Ramones and the Clash.