Side note – Director Nick Cassavetes, son of actor/director John Cassavetes and actress Gena Rowlands is making a biopic about the Allmans. You might recall that Gregg’s bio got canceled when somebody got killed accidentally during production. I honestly didn’t think any movie would get made about the ABB, reasoning that they didn’t seem to grab public imagination in the same way the Doors or Queen or Zep did. Will it see the light of day?
Every summer in this area, we have the Lowell (MA) Folk Festival and Summer Series to look forward to. In 2020, both were canceled. In 2021, there were a couple of shows that we wanted to see (at the Summer Series) but only managed to summon up enough energy to see Classic Hits Live do a note-for-note rendition of the album Hotel California. (including fadeouts).
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but concerts now tend to get announced WAY in advance. And so when I heard the Mavericks were going to be appearing there next June, I thought, hmm, there’s a band I should write about. A little bio courtesy of Wikipedia:
“The Mavericks are an American country music band that combines Tex-Mex, neotraditional country music, Latin, and rockabilly influences. The Mavericks were founded in 1989 in Miami, Florida. Between 1991 and 2003, the band recorded six studio albums, in addition to charting 14 singles on the Billboard country charts.
Their highest-peaking American single was 1996’s “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” a collaboration with accordionist Flaco Jiménez. (I know Flaco’s name from his work with Ry Cooder.) They are best known in the UK for their 1998 single “Dance the Night Away,” which spent 18 weeks on the chart, peaking at number 4. In 1996, The Mavericks won a Grammy Award for the song “Here Comes the Rain.”
Yes, in a sense they are sort of an East Coast Los Lobos minus the blues. They are also a really fun band. The first thing you might think when you hear that they have a song called “Dance the Night Away,” is oh, fuck me, not another cliched “get up and dance” song. Or a Van Halen cover. Well, when you hear it you may be tempted to actually kick your heels up. This stuff is good for what ails ya:
“The Mavericks began their career within the punk and alternative music scene in Miami, Florida, frequently playing on the same bill as emerging acts including Marilyn Manson. The band initially consisted of singer Raul Malo, guitarist Ben Peeler, bassist Robert Reynolds; and drummer Paul Deakin. Current band members are Malo, Deakin, guitarist Eddie Perez, and keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden.”
Older readers will recall a song called “Here Comes My Baby,” a big hit for a band called the Tremeloes. But that was a cover, the original having been written by Cat Stevens who released it on an album after the Tremeloes struck gold with it. I’ve always loved the tune and the Mavericks again find the fun in a song wherein the singer proclaims:
Here comes my baby, here she comes now,
Walking with a love, with a love that’s all so fine,
Never could be mine, no matter how I try
From a blurb I read on a page about the band: The Roy Orbison vibes are strong on “O What a Thrill,” a Top 20 hit for the Mavericks. Written by Jesse Winchester, the romantic song brims with longing for a beautiful woman who may or may not still be into the main character. Malo warbles like a velvet-voiced crooner, as twinkling piano and R&B rhythms exude a wholesome ’50s vibe.
In 2015, the guys released an album called Mono, not because they had mononucleosis but because it was recorded in glorious monophonic sound. AllMusic says, “This music feels like it was meant to be played in a dance hall with a crowd of Saturday night revelers whooping it up or slow dancing to the fine sounds.”
This is “What Am I Supposed To Do?” and it’s got a fine, funky feel:
And lastly, how about a little Tex-Mex country with the aforementioned Flaco Jimines? This is “All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down.” (The band’s most recent album is entirely in Spanish).
Looks like the guys are embarking on a pretty extensive tour starting in a couple of weeks. I am definitely grabbing my dancing shoes and checking them out. Next year.