"I'd never really done it before and I'd been kind of apprehensive about doing it for a long time, but this time, something just made me take the bait," he says. "So I spent about a week woodshedding, thinking about how to go about it, coming up with ways to play the songs. And I went and played the gig and I absolutely loved doing it, and I felt kind of victorious about it. Because it was just me up there against the world.
"Then a couple of months later, the Rhino Records best-of came out. I think I would have continued doing it anyway, but that gave me a nice boost, so I proceeded to go around the country doing it. I've found it to be really liberating, and a revelation."
In the intervening months, Crenshaw has been pleasantly surprised to hear his songs popping up on the tube. The first-year NBC sitcom Ed has used three Crenshaw songs in various episodes this season. Best of all, for someone routinely dismissed as a relic of the '80s, two of the songs -- "Eydie's Tune" and "Right There in Front of Me" -- are from Crenshaw's most recent album, #447.
When asked if he has any idea why the creators of the series -- which is produced by David Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants -- have taken such a shine to him, the relentlessly modest Crenshaw momentarily feigns arrogance.
"Because they have good taste, that's my answer," Crenshaw says, amused by his own cockiness. "It's great that they're out there, running a TV show and using my tunes. But I think the reason they're using them is they should be using them. More people should be using them."