The folks who cast Marshall Crenshaw as Buddy Holly in the upcoming "La Bamba" movie probably aren't too worried about the audience suspending its disbelief. After all, Crenshaw is portraying a bespectacled singer-songwriter whose music is steeped in a timeless purity and simplicity--which pretty much describes Crenshaw himself.
Backed Saturday at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano by the singing and swinging rhythm section of drummer Robert Crenshaw and bassist Graham Maby, he drew freely from his four albums--early gems like "Rockin' Around in N.Y.C." through new gems like "A Hundred Dollars." A gifted, if under-appreciated songwriter, he also enjoys playing other people's songs, covering everyone from the Everly Brothers to MC5. For someone with such keen rock instincts, Crenshaw--who plays the Roxy on Tuesday--remains exceptionally understated and low-key on stage, in keeping with his enormously charming and refreshing show.