By Bob Cannon
Updated April 01, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST

Here’s a quirky roots-rock debut from a Brooklyn quintet that’s clever, stomping, and poetic. Singer Tom Meltzer applies his plaintive bark to tunes on Singer Songwriter Beggarman Thief as varied as the touching ”Claudine” and the delightfully absurd ”Paul Cezanne.” Showing plenty of smarts and good-time energy, the 5CBs know how to make country music smart and city music with heart. A-