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Marshall Crenshaw with The Bottle Rockets
The Bottle Rockets have been making some of the most incisive, literate and lighter-raising American music for going on eighteen years now. And some of the loudest, with a reputation built on a rough and tumble snarl honed by a thousand nights on stages around the world. But that only speaks to part of the story of the Bottle Rockets. So many bands, when you unplug the amps, you find that the emperor has no clothes, that the songs collapse in the quiet; it was the thrill of the tables rattling and ears ringing that sold the goods; the cold of the beer, the heat of the moment.
Over 25 years since breaking through to critical and commercial acclaim with his 1982 self-titled debut and its infectious, era-defining pop hit “Someday, Someway,” Marshall Crenshaw creates an incredible new chapter in his career with his 429 Records debut Jaggedland. Crenshaw’s first studio recording in more than six years is his most musically dynamic and lyrically intimate collection yet.
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 the sensual love song “Passing Through,” the hopeful “Eventually” and the powerful “Long Hard Road.”
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.”