The Mavericks – A Band You Should Know

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.

 

 

24 thoughts on “The Mavericks – A Band You Should Know

  1. The Mavs are one of my favorite live bands of the current era… My girlfriend and I saw them in Portsmouth, NH 2-3 weeks ago, and that is probably my 15th Mavs concert in 10 years.
    They always play at Indian Ranch in Webster, MA in the summer, and it is a great day out.
    Apparently the Mavs have a rider in their contract that venues are not allowed to stop any dancing, so the shows are a riotous celebration of singing and dancing for a very enthusiastic fan-base.
    Catch a show if you can…

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  2. The band and Malo has been playing in Texas for decades, and currently call Austin home base. Malo comes to Dallas Fort Worth often, with and without the Mavericks. One of my favorite bands. Who knew he could sing freaking opera? He can, and is quite good at it. Unlike Willie and Waylon, he carved out his own spot in country music with a unique sound.

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      1. I’m not sure that he has professionally, but I did catch a video where he appeared on a late night show. He also has done a few one man shows in Dallas at the Kessler Theater and he slips in and out of opera during his performance. Seems everytime he plays the Kessler, I don’t know until it’s to late and the tickets are sold out. Maybe one day I will get lucky. He’s not Botticelli but he’s darn good.

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  3. Stone cold cool band. Ron Malo has a voice that is so smooth. One of the best in my books. I was just talking about them the other day. They do a killer version of Merle’s ‘The Bottle Let Me Down’. Giving some ink to a worthy bunch.

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    1. Huh! Seems like these guys are better known than I’d realized. Most of their time is spent way off the radar. Their earlier stuff back in the day is more country but I’m sure they still do it.

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      1. You gotta get out more. I had a cool episode of ‘Bluegrass Underground’ where Malo pulls his Mom up on stage for a little dance. The reason I was talking about the Merle cut was because Krauss/ Plant do a fantastic version of Hags ‘Going Where The Lonely Go’

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        1. Just discovered ‘Bluegrass Underground’ on PBS. Not sure if it’ll be my thang but I’ll check it out. Have to see if Steve knows about it.

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  4. Jim, I love that music! And the name “The Mavericks” does ring a bell, but I don’t know why. Perhaps I previously discussed it with another fellow blogger? I hope that fellow blogger wasn’t you! 🙂

    I think your Los Lobos comparison is spot on. I imagine The Mavericks would be a great band to watch live and have a ball. After all the s..t we’ve gone through since January 2020, their upbeat and happy music sounds like a very attractive proposition!

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    1. No it definitely wasn’t me. I knew of them but I wasn’t a close follower. I had forgotten about them quite frankly. You are correct in saying it is a great pick-me-up after these dreadful few years. Definitely gonna check them out live. I plan to play some of their stuff around the house prior to that day. I know my wife will dig them. They’ve got some purer country stuff that sounds pretty good too. If you read the comments these guys have a pretty fervent fan base.

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        1. Especially with that boatload of crap on the so-called American Music Awards tonight. I already expressed my displeasure with that pile of shit on Facebook. I’ll post this Spotify list there tomorrow and remind people of what good American music sounds like. Hey, they’re playing in Jersey. Maybe you can grab the old lady and go!

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  5. Wow Jim taking me way back. Their 94? Album “What A Crying Shame” was a killer album and the title cut was one of my favorites that year. They had songs that sounded like Dwight Yoakam and you’ve mentioned the one with the Roy O influence. Plus they did a Springsteen cover. I have seen them twice live both in San Antonio. Once at the Rodeo- hey when you live in SA you gotta go to the rodeo once. They played on a round rotating stage in the middle of the arena surrounded by dirt and mud – definitely a different concert experience. Also saw them open for Mary Chaplin Carpenter a little while after that. Great band live! Thanks for taking me back. Kind of lost track of them – will have to go back. And check them out again

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    1. Wow. Everybody’s way ahead of me on these guys. I know the occasional tune but certainly don’t know them at the “go see them” level. I don’t think they got much traction in New England.

      I listened to the Springsteen cover but I preferred one of the other ones more. If you catch up with them, their most recent album is entirely in Spanish. Kinda used to that from Los Lobos.

      BTW, some years ago I went to Dallas on business regularly for a while. I can’t recall its name but I once went to a club that had a rodeo inside over in Fort Worth.

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  6. Man that Dance The Night Away pretty much killed them over here; nothing like overplaying something to see an act off. Which is a shame as they’ve got some good stuff – though I think very much a Yank thing than to really kick off here – I recall their 2003 album being a good listen and Malo does a good – Mavericked – take on Downbound Train you may well enjoy

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