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Marshall Crenshaw's "Red Wine" EP Reviewed

EP # 4!

EP # 4!

If “Stranger And Stranger” is the Marshall Crenshaw EP to wake up the neighbors over, the latest four songer, “Red Wine” is where the superstar falls to earth. It isn’t by any stretch of the language a stinker, and one song, a cover, is among his best moments on the album in segments exercise, still it isn’t the best of the EPs either.

The title track is the sort of speeding blues Crenshaw seems to nail in his sleep, he has put them out on a regular basis since 1996 and these blues riffs movers while strong and dance worthy still aren’t prime Crenshaw. “Red Wine” isn’t bad but it isn’t what we come to Marshall for.

Neither is “(Hey?) Delilah”. Probably the only minor song on Life’s Too Short gets a refurbishing with a sparkling guitar solo and I must admit I completely love it but, really, why that song?  As for “Going Going Gone”, a minimalistic bass and drums blues work out, my only complaint here is that it isn’t longer: it is 101 second of brutatlity and works completely and shockingly enough it is a Crenshaw original!

Still the keeper here is a terrific version of James  McMurtry’s excellent “Right Here Now” , a country rocker with a terrific lyric (ps his dad is Larry McMurtry, the novelist, and if all Larry had written was “The Last Picture Show” he’d have a place in country heaven). When Crenshaw gets a song in his sites he stamps it indelibly and even songs you wouldn’t really expect like “Wanda And Duane” and this one, with its weird verb “just a shade off plumb” or is it an adjective??

One way or the other, it is Marshall Crenshaw, how bad can it be?

Grade: A-

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