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Marshall Crenshaw's "Out Of Nowhere" Reviewed

Crenshaw Gets His Irish Up

Crenshaw Gets His Irish Up

I very seldom watch TV, working in the industry for decades on end I just can’t unwind with it. Not even HBO. Not even the gangland drama “Boardwalk Empire”, which  has been going on for a couple of years and who have just released their third soundtrack album.  I haven’t herd except for Elvis Costello and except for Marshall Crenshaw, trading in his bowler hat for a Tuxedo, on this cover of the Bing Crosby’s 1931 triumph

Backed by Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks, who perform old school swing in the show, Crenshaw croons majestically through the  song, sounding remarkably unlike the rock and roll and blues guy we know and love, and he doesn’t sound like Bing either. Bing is the king of the microphone, and he always underplayed his hand and let the amplification do the heavy lifting for him: deep romantic fidelity but with a calmness and soft swing to it.

Crenshaw croons but with a backbone, a putting it straight. It is a really cool thing to hear Marshall so far away from what he does and yet so completely into it, he holds the melody, a pretty one as well, though a little ethereal, and strengthens it with a natural confidence that follows the melody line, one easy to lose track off, to the end.

Edward Heyman, an excellent lyricist, he wrote the words to “For Sentimental Reasons.” is behind the words and Johnny Green composed the music. Together they had given the world “Body And Soul” just the year before, and while “Out Of Nowhere” is no “Body And Soul”, it isn’t bad either.

The arrangement here is a little odd, I haven’t seen the show but the long intro and outro made sense in the early 1930s where the music was there first and foremost to be danced to, repeating it here is odd. I would have prefered another go round on the verses. I’ve heard a few other versions, both Charlie Parker and Miles Davis have great takes, albeit different types of takes, out there. This one holds its own with the best of them.

Crenshaw said about the recording as well as his connection to Crosby: ” I did about a dozen takes of the vocal, told the producer “It’s in there somewhere; you’ll have to dig for it”, which he did a great job of.

“The other thing was, Robert did an online DNA test, found out that we’re mostly Irish on my Dad’s side. Robert told me the results of the test on the morning of the session day; that gave me some extra confidence..”

Personally, I see no reason why Crenshaw might not want to delve into, or write some original,  American Standards, apparently he has both the voice and the demeanor for it. The only way to get “Out Of Nowhere” is to do what I did, buy it on Itunes, so here is Bing Crosby hamming it up on Youtube while you download:


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