The Mavericks are back. The country-steeped garage band with a Cuban American lead singer that had emerged from Miami in 1989 with their sultry debut that was equal parts innocence, intensity, and vintage influences has reunited in 2012 after an eight-year hiatus. Time has a way of melting when you’re busy living life – and two decades have passed since their polyrhythmic brand of post-modern country has given the world “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” “Here Comes The Rain,” and “Dance The Night Away.”
With their new album, time melts once again, and the band that defied definitions, blurred genres, and made everybody feel good is back. The “most interesting band in the world” has captured the infectious energy and robust sound from their live shows on their new Valory Music release In Time. Songs like “Dance In The Moonlight,” the Orbison-esque “Born To Be Blue,” the horn-punctuated retro noir “Back In Your Arms Again,” and the Tejano-esque “All Over Again” show that the Mavericks have once again found the way to make genre-defying soul music.
For Raul Malo, the lead singer with the rich supple voice that’s second to only Roy Orbison in its ability to convey lonesomeness, desire, and vivre; drummer Paul Deakin and multi-instrumentalist Robert Reynolds; as well as longtime collaborator keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden and seasoned guitarist Eddie Perez, life has become richer in terms of experience, playing acumen, and a sense of their own musicality. It has also deepened the connection between them in a way that heightens the singular chemistry that made the Grammy-winning band one of the most exciting live acts in any musical genre.
“Maybe the space has given us a sense not of how it can happen, but what can happen when we come together,” says Deakin, who has spent the years apart balancing master-level carpentry with touring with David Mead and Jason White. “Just being there, and experiencing it, you don’t think about it. But there is definitely something when you get Raul, Robert, Eddie, Jerry Dale, and I in a room together that’s magical.”
“The way this record happened really fostered the passion, the urgency and the hyper-listening of being in tune with each other. It’s a way of being in tune we don’t have with anyone else.”
This is ironic, since other than a disjointed album eight years ago, the Mavericks had gone their separate ways. Through happenstance, serendipity, and a collective convergence of the cosmos, the band members found themselves entertaining the notion of some live shows for major festivals; then the idea of recording emerged.
Eight years had passed; they’d barely spoken, hadn’t been in the same room, hadn’t given the band more than a passing thought.
But the Mavericks have never been conventional. Indeed, with the passage of time, their legend has grown – and wherever the individual members went, the question of reuniting seemed to grow exponentially.
“I’d always dismissed the people who asked (about The Mavericks) as just holding on to the past,” laughs Malo. “A moment in their lives, some notion that was more fantasy than fact. But the years passed, I kept making music and they never died – those questions.” Malo, the man who feared re-treading what had once been began to rethink whether there was more music to be made.
“It’s funny,” says Perez, who has made music with Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters, Dwight Yoakam, Miranda Lambert, George Straight, Lee Ann Womack, and Raul as a solo artist, “it was a maybe to some touring dates, and then what was a few shows turned into, ‘Hey, maybe let’s make a record.’ It just snow-balled, because I think everyone of us lives to make music, and together, we all know it’s like nothing else.”
The time apart has also strengthened everyone’s musicality.
“I expected everybody to play their asses off,” Malo confesses. “That they’d step in like men and make music. And they did.”
What Malo doesn’t say is that the band did zero pre-production. He was on tour in Europe. Other band members had commitments. Everybody simply showed up and allowed things to happen.
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