Someday, Someway: Crenshaw Still Has It Going On
Marshall Crenshaw has been making music for almost as long as I have been attending shows, so I was excited to see him on this night between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
As soon as he took the stage, he let us know he was battling a cold. His showed us how much of a professional he is by powering through it to the point where the cold was not noticeable. Yes, he sounded better in the lower registers, but most musicians do as they get older. He sounded great on the higher notes too.
Crenshaw started the set with a new song, “Grab the Next Train,” which he wrote with Dan Bern. The crowd loved it, and he followed it with anothernew song whose title I did not hear.
After playing Buddy Holly’s “Cryin’,” Marshall played a song that I believe he wrote with David Forman for a new HBO© show called Vinyl. The song is “Christmas You Go So Fast” and it is hilarious.
Throughout the set, he switched back and forth between acoustic and electric guitars, and for some reason this night he seemed more comfortable on the electric. The set was packed with songs from throughout his lengthy career, including his biggest hit “Someday, Someway” and the B-side of that 45, “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time.” He also delivered Lou Reed’s “Wild Child,” which he’d learned for a tribute to Reed that he’ll be playing in a couple weeks.
Crenshaw prefaced one song with a story of how the song was reminiscent of the America classic “Horse With No Name.” As he talked about the first time he heard that song, I was immediately transported to the first time I heard it, on Friday, March 17, 1972 — a happy memory. Crenshaw’s song has a similar feeling, but does not sound derivative.
Crenshaw last played “I Don’t See You Laughing Now” at a political event in October, and bringing it out for a Cambridge crowd was a great idea.
He mentioned that he has not written many songs in the past couple of years, something he intends to rectify in 2016. Whether he does or doesn’t, Marshall Crenshaw is a terrific singer-songwriter who is as relevant today as he was 30 years ago.