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CRAWDADDYS (Buy CDs by this artist)
Crawdaddy Express (Voxx) 1979
Still Steamin' (Ger. Line) 1980
Here 'Tis! (Voxx) 1987
Mystic Crawdads (Ger. Wired/Line) 1989

This San Diego band delivers a 1979 record straight from 1964. Taking their name from the London R&B club where the Stones and Yardbirds began, the Crawdaddys copy those and other appropriate groups of the period (like the Pretty Things). Unfortunately, the group's sincerity and enthusiasm don't excuse lame renditions of various R&B and rock'n'roll classics, blues obscurities and two originals from the same mold; Crawdaddy Express may be a well-intentioned tribute, but it amounts to little more than nostalgia-mongering.

Over the course of the next five years, the Crawdaddys recorded one unreleased album and went through a batch of lineups (leaving drummer Dan McLain free to become Country Dick Montana and co-found the Beat Farmers). Three years after the band called it quits, the lost second LP (vintage 1984) was finally released, expanded with five previous outtakes. Offering a fair reflection of the group's early '60s eclecticism, Here 'Tis! — a sharper and more convincing LP than Express — relies heavily on singer Ron Silva's originals, but also covers Chuck Berry, Leiber/Stoller, soul legends and British Invasion stars. Mystic Crawdads is a compilation of early material.

[Wayne King]