Mateo County Times
It's not too
often these days that a press kit from a musician
includes a 45 RPM vinyl disc. But after listening
to a few songs from '90's rockabilly artist Dave
Crimmen, it's clear why he added this anachronistic
touch to his presentation. His tunes recall the
days of hi-fi record players and jitterbugs.
Belmont resident Crimmen, who will host a CD
release party for his new single, "Let It Rock," at
9 p.m. Friday at Burlingame's Route 66, has been
rockabillying the Bar Area bar and club scene for
years. He's often touted as today's Elvis, Little
Richard or Johnny Cash. The similarities to The
King are perhaps most apparent, extending not only
to Crimmen's music but his appearance. He sports
the Elvis-like dark hair, the sideburns, the
turned-up collar. He's a daunting 6 feet 4 inches
tall (not including the cowboy boots and big hair)
and wears fistfuls of silver-and-turquoise
Crimmen's sound is fresh and clear, a blend of
guitarist Leif Carlson's lively picking, Harry
Mello's nicely crafted piano backup, the solid
rhythm work of bassist Robin Sylvester and drummer
Patrick Walker, and Crimmen's vocals. The
group's musical philosophy is obvious. "The
get-up-and-party and dance thing has been gone so
long, it's time to get up and do it again," says
There's evidence that the band will get up and do
it again more often. "Lately, I feel like I've died
and gone to heaven," Crimmen says, referring to the
emergence of the "rockabilly movement" in San
Francisco's South of Market club scene. To date, he
has produced two CDs, "Just Call It Rock 'n Roll"
and "The Son of Sun" and will soon release a third,
"Where He Left Off," which will mark the 20-year
anniversary of Presley's death.
And yes, Crimmen and the boys will play Presley
tunes in their live performances, usually only
pieces dated before '59. The way Crimmen sees it,
"It's not an imitation so much as an emulation (of
Presley)." But don't ask him to do the dance. He
has to draw the line somewhere. The Route 66 is
located at 1261 California Drive. For
information on the band's upcoming shows, call its
hotline at (650) 589-5852.
San Mateo as
the place to go on a Friday night? Who would have
ever thought that possible? We've already discussed
the B Street boogie, but now the action is
spreading across town. There's enough going on
these days to keep party patrons from having to
travel to far off entertainment Mecca's. You know,
like Hayward or Fremont.
O'Leary's Irish Pub is the newest addition to the
local club scene, and brother, I mean new. Music is
the specialty of the house on Friday and Saturday
nights. Last Friday night featured local rockabilly
ace Dave Crimmen, whose one-time band, then known
as Xtender, played Sammy O'Leary's on opening
drives a truck by day, then straps on a guitar and
sings rock and roll at night. Sound familiar? Well,
he's from Belmont, not Tupelo, but there's one
thing that separates Crimmen from other club bands:
His originals are stronger than his covers. Opening
with "I saw Her Standing There," the band moved on
to such rock staples as "Wild Night" and "Green
River." They also touched up "Sweet Little Sixteen"
with a ribald rewrite, is closer to the true Chuck.
It was on his own tunes, though, that Crimmen
really scored. Plugging his new CD, "Just Call It
Rock and Roll," he clearly enjoyed "Here With You"
and the Del Shannon-flavored "Been Here Before."
The small but serviceable dance floor got a