— “One of the fundamental things about the project was that I set out

to not make an album,” Marshall Crenshaw notes. “So I did this project, and now at the

end of it, there’s this album, for the album fans!….”

The celebrated singer-songwriter-guitarist-producer is discussing #392: The EP

Collection, his new CD on the Red River Entertainment label. The 14-track set collects a

dozen standout tracks drawn from the innovative series of six 10” vinyl EPs that

Crenshaw released between 2013 and 2015, plus a pair of never-before-heard rarities

chosen especially for this collection.

The EP series was the product of Crenshaw’s decision to break away from the standard

album/tour cycle by recording and releasing a steady stream of new music over an

extended period. The endeavor proved wildly popular with his fans, and brought in lots of

“I really did love the EP project, and I’m kind of sad that it’s over,” Crenshaw comments.

“I was looking for a different way of working that would keep me motivated; it was cool,

because it had a sense of urgency; there was always something that had just come out

and always something that was on the way. It was an inspiring way to work.”

#392: The EP Collection’s twelve studio recordings encompass six new Crenshaw

originals and six cover songs. The former group includes the bittersweet and beautiful

“Grab the Next Train,” the surging and howling “Move Now,” and the hypnotic and

atmospheric “Driving and Dreaming”, while the cover numbers include a reverent remake

of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David/Carpenters chestnut “Close to You,” James McMurtry’s

“Right Here Now,” longtime Crenshaw favorite Bobby Fuller’s classic “Never to Be

Forgotten” and vintage numbers by the Easybeats, the Move and the Lovin’ Spoonful.

Rounding out #392: The EP Collection are two previously unreleased tracks: a powerful

live version of the Everly Brothers classic “Man with Money,” recorded with Crenshaw’s

frequent touring partners the Bottle Rockets, during the week after Phil Everly’s passing,

and the infectious “Front Page News,” a ’90s recording of a previously-unheard original

that Crenshaw wrote with noted country tunesmith Leroy Preston (“I can’t remember

when I did it, or why, but I like it!”, says Crenshaw).

“I was fortunate to have lots of brilliant people helping me on these tracks, and they really

lifted the proceedings,” Crenshaw reports. “I’m proud about the range of super-excellent

musicians who came on board for these sessions.”

#392: The EP Collection includes contributions from avant-jazz trumpet icon Stephen

Bernstein, noted jazz vibraphonist Bryan Carrott, versatile Nashville bassist Byron House,

Daniel Littleton of the band Ida, renowned composer/keyboardists Rob Morsberger and

Jamie Saft, along with longstanding Crenshaw cohorts like guitarists Glen Burtnick and Andy

York, bassist Graham Maby, Brian Wilson/Beach Boys sideman Jeffrey Foskett, and

acclaimed indie troubadour Dan Bern, who co-wrote four songs with Crenshaw.

Meanwhile, on several tracks, Crenshaw worked on his own in his home studio,

overdubbing all or most of the instruments and vocal harmonies himself. Crenshaw

states, “I’ve been into the Narcissist, solitary-genius thing for a long time. For instance,

“‘Cynical Girl,’ on my first album, is just me, and ‘Someday Someway’ is my brother on

drums and me on everything else. So working alone sometimes is standard procedure for

Over the course of a recording career that’s spanned three decades, 13 albums and

hundreds of songs, the Michigan-bred artist’s musical output has maintained a consistently

high level of artistry, craftsmanship and passion, endearing him to a broad and loyal fan

After getting an early break playing John Lennon in a touring company of the Broadway

musical Beatlemania, Crenshaw began his recording career with the now-legendary indie

single “Something’s Gonna Happen.” His growing notoriety in his adopted hometown of

New York City helped to win Crenshaw a deal with Warner Bros. Records, which released

his self-titled 1982 debut album. That collection established Crenshaw as one of the era’s

preeminent rock ’ n’ rollers, and that was confirmed by such subsequent albums as Field

Day, Downtown, Mary Jean & 9 Others, Good Evening, Life’s Too Short, Miracle of

Science, #447, What’s in the Bag? and Jaggedland.

Along the way, Crenshaw’s compositions have been covered by a broad array of

performers, including Bette Midler, Kelly Willis, Robert Gordon, Ronnie Spector, Marti

Jones and the Gin Blossoms, with whom Crenshaw co-wrote the Top 10 single “Til I Hear

It From You.” He’s also provided music for several film soundtracks, appeared in the films

La Bamba (in which he portrayed Buddy Holly) and Peggy Sue Got Married, and was

nominated for Grammy and a Golden Globe awards for writing the title track for the film

comedy Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Since 2011, Crenshaw has hosted his own

radio show, The Bottomless Pit, on New York’s WFUV. He’s currently working on Martin

Scorsese and Mick Jagger’s much-anticipated HBO series Vinyl, doing “some session

work, a little bit of songwriting..”

His eclectic resume aside, songwriting and record-making remain at the center of

Marshall Crenshaw’s creative life, and #392: The EP Collection confirms that his musical

flame continues to burn as brightly as ever.

“I still love recorded music and believe in it as an art form, whether it’s a single or

album, or vinyl or CD,” Crenshaw asserts, adding, “I think I’ll probably stick with it.”