Profile… Raul Malo

This is an updated version of an article I wrote a week ago.

A cover version of a well-known hit, led me to a band which for some reason I thought was Welsh.  I had no idea of anything at all about them, I just  really liked the song – so, just in case I only liked that song and didn’t like any of their other music, I borrowed a CD from the library. I’d never heard anything by them before – only the cover version, but as soon as I heard the first track on the borrowed album, I was hooked.

What was it which just captivated me? It wasn’t my sort of music and I found it hard to define, country-rock, maybe? I had no idea, but I realised they weren’t Welsh but American. I was entranced, enthralled, bewitched maybe, by the strong lead guitar,by the perfect rhythm section of bass and drums, by the lead singer’s voice, so expressive, so clear, such range, so strong, so tender, so cheerful, so sad… I’d never heard a voice like it, so pure somehow and yet so rich…

I looked at the album cover; four men maybe in their thirties, staring impassively out of the photo. The two on the left were standing, the other two sitting. Which one was the singer? The cool appraising one standing on the left, or the one next to and slightly behind him, dark hair, a goatee and moustache a strong almost fierce expression? Or was it the one sitting at the front with a red jacket and a challenging look on his face – lighter brown hair, again bearded and moustached? Or the one on the right, sitting slightly further back, dark curly hair  and a watchful, still expression.

There were names on the back of the album but it didn’t help identify which was the singer, the one with the mesmerising voice. He conveyed great joy, or tenderness, or sorrow, or  enthusiasm, or passion, or loss, or heartbreak, or fun, or anger, or love… The band was terrific, and I wanted to know – which name matched which face? Was the singer the one with the fierce expression, maybe a little older than the others? Or the one at the front in the red jacket with the challenging look? I had no idea.

It didn’t take me long to find out the name of the band, the instruments they played, the songs they had written, and then to buy every other album I could find by them. If you know me you’ll know that the band is The Mavericks, and at that time the members were Paul Deakin on drums, Nick Kane lead guitar, Robert Reynolds bass and vocals, and Raul Malo guitar and vocals, and the writer of many if not most of their songs.

I fell in love with the Mavericks; I bought all their albums, everything available. I bought all of Raul’s solo albums. I went to as many gigs as possible, travelling to every part of the UK, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, south to Plymouth, north- east to York, north-west to Liverpool and Manchester, and the midlands – Birmingham and Coventry… and elsewhere. An unexpected collateral was the friends I made – from across the world, friends who at first were Mav-fans, but soon became friends independent of our shared love and enthusiasm.

So, this is the background to my profile of Raul Malo. It is only a brief biography, to write about everything Raul has done and achieved would take a whole book… and maybe someone should write one!

Raul Malo

Raúl Francisco Martínez-Malo Jr. was born on August 7, 1965 in Miami, Florida to parents who were Cuban.  He was brought up with music all around him, not just at home but in the neighbourhood where local people played in public venues, sharing traditional music and songs and dance.

Like many young people  Raul joined his friends from school to make music, playing bass guitar at that point, and it wasn’t long before he was in various bands. However, the magic began to happen when he and a school friend Robert Reynolds got together with drummer Paul Deakin and they became the Mavericks. At that point their influences were the class country acts, such as Hank Williams and Patsy Cline – and mixed with Raul’s Latin roots they produced a unique sound.

They worked throughout the 80’s and by the autumn of 1990 they were ready to release their own album called… The Mavericks! Raul had written the songs, and they were now joined by the guitarist Ben Peeler.  The success of their album lead them to be signed by MCA, and this was when Raul really began to focus on writing, and on singing – using his magnificent, distinctive voice as an instrument to make, as I mentioned, their unique sound.

They played their first gig in Nashville in 1991, and David Lee Holt joined Deakin, Reynolds and Malo as lead guitarist. Fame followed, success building on success. In 1995 Nick Kane became lead guitar, and it was this quartet which really cemented the firm foundations which had been set during the early 90’s.  Various other artists were associated with the band, including the one and only Jerry Dale McFadden. The Latin rhythms  of Raul’s background and heritage began to infiltrate their music making them different from any other band in the USA, and in the world. In fact, the world embraced the Mavericks, and they developed a huge following in Europe and in Australia but also in many other countries too.

As with most bands, there were tensions and difficulties, and people wanted to follow different paths; the band separated for  while and Raul released his first solo album, the magnificent ‘Today‘. The band reunited this time with the exuberant Eddie Perez as lead guitarist. An album was released and then once again, the members of the Mavericks drifted to pursue different interests and journeys. Raul continued to make albums and tour, sometimes solo, sometimes with a young accordionist, Michael Guerra.

The band reunited (to great joy from their many fans) and now with Jerry Dale McFadden as one of them, and always supported by Michael Guerra and usually Max Abrams on saxophone; this description –  “a country band whose neo-honky-tonk tunes hark back to the 1950s and 1960s” although still true, became only part of what their music is today… Far wider, more eclectic, more diverse, full of passion and driving energy, still embracing their fans in a way many other bands do not, which is why their future  success is probably guaranteed.

Throughout his career Raul has played with, been part of, collaborated with a wide variety of musicians from different genres of music; he recorded an album with The Royal Northern Sinfonia chamber orchestra of Great Britain, with Los Super Seven (“we maybe more but we are seven”) and has guested and featured on albums by many of the greatest singers of today.

The Mavericks have a huge back catalogue; songs they have written, and those written by others. They have performed and recorded covers from almost every major artist from across most genres of modern/poplar/contemporary music, as well as going back to their roots, and the music and artists who influenced them.

The music and performances and instrumentation is always superb, the rhythm from drums and bass (in the past bass guitar, more recently upright bass) keyboards, and  the Tex-Mex-Latino-Cuban sound from accordion, brass (in the past the Havana Horns, now a duet of sax with Max Abrams, and trumpet)  the melody – original, clever, often innovative –  but I would suggest that it is the voice which is the forefront, that which captivates and engages. Raul’s voice is, to repeat, a “mesmerising voice” which conveys “great joy, or tenderness, or sorrow, or  enthusiasm, or passion, or loss, or heartbreak, or fun, or anger, or love…

Raul not only sings, and plays, but writes… a Wikipedia entry shows a small sample of his most widely known songs, songs which what might be called ‘the general public’, would know – ‘All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down’, ‘Dance the Night Away’, ‘Here Comes the Rain’, ‘I Should Have Been True’, ‘There Goes My Heart’, ‘What a Crying Shame‘… but Raul must have written, performed, recorded, collaborated on hundreds more. As well as the Mavericks albums, Raul has written and released many others as a solo artist. Every fan will have their favourite, sometimes obscure song written by Raul.

Raul’s voice is captivating, hearing him singing even if you have never seen him live or recorded is mesmerising. However, to see him live, to listen to him performing in font of an audience is something else. He is charismatic, simply that. Performing solo, performing with a small ensemble, with the Mavericks, with a big band or even an orchestra, he shines, he illuminates the stage – and yet is also part of the whole performance.  He performs with passion, to use a clichéed phrase, he always gives a hundred percent, always. And yet… and yet he is modest, it is never about himself, it is about the music.

Raul has exceptional and extraordinary talent, and yet when you meet him (which many fans are able to do as he so generously comes out after nearly every gig) the ordinary fan can’t help but be struck by his modesty, his friendliness and his gratitude to those who buy his music and come to his concerts.  He is one of the most gifted, talented, versatile, imaginative, stunning people I have ever met. He is certainly the most charismatic.

*****

This is a video which demonstrates the sort of person Raul is; a concert I attended was cancelled before it even started due to problems with the water supply. Most of the audience left and went home, tickets refunded; us hard-core fans waited, and were rewarded by Raul coming out and with Jerry Dale McFadden and trumpeter Paul Armstrong and sax-player Max Abrams, entertaining us – here is one of many videos taken of that night:

The article below will give you an insight into Raul’s passion for freedom and liberty, and his anger at the racism and destructive attitudes which are pervading his country and the world:

https://www.raulmalo.com/about.html

Here are some more links about Raul:

http://www.songwritingmagazine.co.uk/interviews/interview-the-mavericks-raul-malo/36532

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/raul-malo-mn0000340527/biography

http://www.encyclopedia.com/people/literature-and-arts/music-popular-and-jazz-biographies/mavericks

The Mavericks Collection

The first album I ever heard

 

Profile

The 73 blog challenge – number 9: A profile

A cover version of a well-known hit, led me to a band which for some reason I thought was Welsh.  I had no idea of anything at all about them, I just  really liked the song – so, just in case I only liked that song and didn’t like any of their other music, I borrowed a CD from the library. I’d never heard anything by them before – only the cover version, but as soon as I heard the first track on the borrowed album, I was hooked.

What was it which just captivated me? It wasn’t my sort of music and I found it hard to define, country-rock, maybe? I had no idea, but I realised they weren’t Welsh but American. I was entranced, enthralled, bewitched maybe, by the strong lead guitar,by the perfect rhythm section of bass and drums, by the lead singer’s voice, so expressive, so clear, such range, so strong, so tender, so cheerful, so sad… I’d never heard a voice like it, so pure somehow and yet so rich…

I looked at the album cover; four men maybe in their thirties, staring impassively out of the photo. The two on the left were standing, the other two sitting. Which one was the singer? The cool appraising one standing on the left, or the one next to and slightly behind him, dark hair, a goatee and moustache a strong almost fierce expression? Or was it the one sitting at the front with a red jacket and a challenging look on his face – lighter brown hair, again bearded and moustached? Or the one on the right, sitting slightly further back, dark curly hair  and a watchful, still expression.

There were names on the back of the album but it didn’t help identify which was the singer, the one with the mesmerising voice. He conveyed great joy, or tenderness, or sorrow, or  enthusiasm, or passion, or loss, or heartbreak, or fun, or anger, or love… The band was terrific, and I wanted to know – which name matched which face? Was the singer the one with the fierce expression, maybe a little older than the others? Or the one at the front in the red jacket with the challenging look? I had no idea.

It didn’t take me long to find out the name of the band, the instruments they played, the songs they had written, and then to buy every other album I could find by them. If you know me you’ll know that the band is The Mavericks, and at that time the members were Paul Deakin on drums, Nick Kane lead guitar, Robert Reynolds bass and vocals, and Raul Malo guitar and vocals, and the writer of many if not most of their songs.

This is the background to my profile of Raul Malo. It is only a brief biography, to write about everything Raul has done and achieved would take a whole book… and maybe someone should write one!

Raul Malo

Raúl Francisco Martínez-Malo Jr. was born on August 7, 1965 in Miami, Florida to parents who were Cuban.  He was brought up with music all around him, not just at home but in the neighbourhood where local people played in public venues, sharing traditional music and songs and dance.

Like many young people  Raul joined his friends from school to make music, playing bass guitar at that point, and it wasn’t long before he was in various bands. However, the magic began to happen when he and a school friend Robert Reynolds got together with drummer Paul Deakin and they became the Mavericks. At that point their influences were the class country acts, such as Hank Williams and Patsy Cline – and mixed with Raul’s Latin roots they produced a unique sound.

They worked throughout the 80’s and by the autumn of 1990 they were ready to release their own album called… The Mavericks! Raul had written the songs, and they were now joined by the guitarist Ben Peeler.  The success of their album lead them to be signed by MCA, and this was when Raul really began to focus on writing, and on singing – using his magnificent, distinctive voice as an instrument to make, as I mentioned, their unique sound.

They played their first gig in Nashville in 1991, and David Lee Holt joined Deakin, Reynolds and Malo as lead guitarist. Fame followed, success building on success. In 1995 Nick Kane became lead guitar, and it was this quartet which really cemented the firm foundations which had been set during the early 90’s.  Various other artists were associated with the band, including the one and only Jerry Dale McFadden. The Latin rhythms  of Raul’s background and heritage began to infiltrate their music making them different from any other band in the USA, and in the world. In fact, the world embraced the Mavericks, and they developed a huge following in Europe and in Australia but also in many other countries too.

As with most bands, there were tensions and difficulties, and people wanted to follow different paths; the band separated for  while and Raul released his first solo album, the magnificent ‘Today‘. The band reunited this time with the exuberant Eddie Perez as lead guitarist. An album was released and then once again, the members of the Mavericks drifted to pursue different interests and journeys. Raul continued to make albums and tour, sometimes solo, sometimes with a young accordionist, Michael Guerra.

The band reunited (to great joy from their many fans) and now with Jerry Dale McFadden as one of them, and always supported by Michael Guerra and usually Max Abrams on saxophone; this description –  “a country band whose neo-honky-tonk tunes hark back to the 1950s and 1960s” although still true, became only part of what their music is today… Far wider, more eclectic, more diverse, full of passion and driving energy, still embracing their fans in a way many other bands do not, which is why their future  success is probably guaranteed.

Throughout his career Raul has played with, been part of, collaborated with a wide variety of musicians from different genres of music; he recorded an album with The Royal Northern Sinfonia chamber orchestra of Great Britain, with Los Super Seven (“we maybe more but we are seven”) and has guested and featured on albums by many of the greatest singers of today.

The Mavericks have a huge back catalogue; songs they have written, and those written by others. They have performed and recorded covers from almost every major artist from across most genres of modern/poplar/contemporary music, as well as going back to their roots, and the music and artists who influenced them.

The music and performances and instrumentation is always superb, the rhythm from drums and bass (in the past bass guitar, more recently upright bass) keyboards, and  the Tex-Mex-Latino-Cuban sound from accordion, brass (in the past the Havana Horns, now a duet of sax with Max Abrams, and trumpet)  the melody – original, clever, often innovative –  but I would suggest that it is the voice which is the forefront, that which captivates and engages. Raul’s voice is, to repeat, a “mesmerising voice” which conveys “great joy, or tenderness, or sorrow, or  enthusiasm, or passion, or loss, or heartbreak, or fun, or anger, or love…

Raul not only sings, and plays, but writes… a Wikipedia entry shows a small sample of his most widely known songs, songs which what might be called ‘the general public’, would know – ‘All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down’, ‘Dance the Night Away’, ‘Here Comes the Rain’, ‘I Should Have Been True’, ‘There Goes My Heart’, ‘What a Crying Shame‘… but Raul must have written, performed, recorded, collaborated on hundreds more. As well as the Mavericks albums, Raul has written and released many others as a solo artist. Every fan will have their favourite, sometimes obscure song written by Raul.

Raul’s voice is captivating, hearing him singing even if you have never seen him live or recorded is mesmerising. However, to see him live, to listen to him performing in font of an audience is something else. He is charismatic, simply that. Performing solo, performing with a small ensemble, with the Mavericks, with a big band or even an orchestra, he shines, he illuminates the stage – and yet is also part of the whole performance.  He performs with passion, to use a clichéed phrase, he always gives a hundred percent, always. And yet… and yet he is modest, it is never about himself, it is about the music.

Raul has exceptional and extraordinary talent, and yet when you meet him (which many fans are able to do as he so generously comes out after nearly every gig) the ordinary fan can’t help but be struck by his modesty, his friendliness and his gratitude to those who buy his music and come to his concerts.  He is one of the most gifted, talented, versatile, imaginative, stunning people I have ever met. He is certainly the most charismatic.

This is a video which demonstrates the sort of person Raul is; a concert I attended was cancelled before it even started due to problems with the water supply. Most of the audience left and went home, tickets refunded; us hard-core fans waited, and were rewarded by Raul coming out and with Jerry Dale McFadden and trumpeter Paul Armstrong and sax-player Max Abrams, entertaining us – here is one of many videos taken of that night:

The article below will give you an insight into Raul’s passion for freedom and liberty, and his anger at the racism and destructive attitudes which are pervading his country and the world:

https://www.raulmalo.com/about.html

Here are some more links about Raul:

http://www.songwritingmagazine.co.uk/interviews/interview-the-mavericks-raul-malo/36532

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/raul-malo-mn0000340527/biography

http://www.encyclopedia.com/people/literature-and-arts/music-popular-and-jazz-biographies/mavericks

The Mavericks Collection

The first album I ever heard

 

All over again

So excited! On Friday I received something through the post… the new album by the Mavericks! The Mavericks are a band I have followed for many years, and not only have they brought me music, they have brought me many friends, much travel, much fun and excitement!

They have history, of course they do, and personal heartbreak as things have not worked out well in the past, but now they are united as ‘a very fortunate band of brothers’ as they describe themselves.

This new album contains sixteen fabulous live recordings of some of the best of their music – only ‘some of’ because they have an enormous catalogue of truly fabulous music, much written by Raul Malo. As well as Raul, the band consists of Paul Deakin, Eddie Perez, Jerry Dale McFadden, and a consistent team who appear on this album of Michael Guerra, Max Abrams, Matt Cappy and Ed Friedland.

If you haven’t yet got any Mavericks music, a whole world of joy, delight and excitement awaits you… if you have some of their albums, get the rest, and if you have the rest, get this one too!

PS. One of the most exciting things is what is written bottom right of the cover… “Volume 1” … a definite signal of more to come!

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  1. All Night Long
  2. All Over Again
  3. Stories We Could Tell
  4. What You Do to Me
  5. Fall Apart
  6. Do You Want Me To
  7. Back in Your Arms Again
  8. As Long as There’s Lovin’ Tonight
  9. Pardon Me
  10. Summertime
  11. Every Little Thing About You
  12. I Said I Love You
  13. Harvest Moon
  14. Dance in the Moonlight
  15. Come Unto Me
  16. Waiting for the World to End

Here is a link to an in-depth review:

http://themusicuniverse.com/the-mavericks-detail-all-night-live-vol-1-for-oct-14th/

Ten years ago…

Having recently enjoyed a wonderful evening with Kevin Montgomery, I’ve been thinking back over other Kevin gigs… here’s a review of a memorable one in devon… it seems like only yesterday!

 

ShebbearCollege,Devon- 20th January 2006

A night with Kevin – and with an added extra!!

Deepest darkest Devon

Six days after the great night at the Polish Club in Bristol where everything sweated, even the walls (the only exception, Paul Deakin) I set out into the wilds of Devon to go to Shebbear College to see Kevin and the boys again.
This time I had a novice Kevin fan, my friend Janet who had never heard him before (although she had heard plenty about him from me!) As a Devonian of five years she was used to the country lanes and with map and torch in hand she guided me as we drove under a blanket of stars deeper and deeper into the countryside.
She guided me faultlessly to Shebbear. I had been to the concert there last year but had approached the college from the other direction and had not gone into the village itself. This time we came from the south and arrived in the middle of Shebbear. It looked a pretty little place by moonlight but we had no idea which of the several roads out of it might be the one to lead us to the college.

A good idea

We decided to go into the pub to ask the way and also to use their facilities. As we parked I noticed a large camper van and wondered whether that might be Kevin’s. We went into the pub and we passed the dining room and lo and behold there were the Roadtrippers having dinner. We didn’t like to interrupt them so went through to the bar and not only asked the way to the college and the way to the ladies but had a drink while we were there – a choice of three real ales for me and a glass of wine for Janet. The pub was called the Devil’s Stone (we never did find out why) and it was most attractive, very old and with a pleasant atmosphere and a friendly and welcoming landlord. Armed with directions we left the pub and the boys, still eating, and headed for the college.

ShebbearCollege

We found our way to the college and eventually to the hall where the concert was to take place. As last year there were tables and chairs set out very prettily but this time there was a large space at the front near the stage for dancing. There were a couple of seats at a table right at the front which we quickly occupied. Unfortunately, as with last year it was very cold in the hall and a girl on the table where we sat put on her ski hat as her mum sat shivering in a thick coat. We kept our coats on, but I promised Janet it would warm up once Kevin got going!

The support act

As we gave in our tickets I remarked to the lady behind the desk that the boys were still in the pub but she said the two Scottish girls would be on before them, meaning Jill Jackson and her friend who I had seen in Bristol (yes, I know it should be whom). As we sat waiting, Al came onto the stage and began his routine of tuning all his different instruments. As he went off, Mike and Robert came on and as Mike tuned his guitar, Robert took Kevin’s and put it on. At that point I wondered… I had never seen Robert tune Kevin’s guitar for him before… Robert came to the mike and introduced himself and explained that Jill could not be with us so he and Mike were going to do a few numbers! Fantastic! What a bonus! And of course they were both great. Robert sang ‘Pretty Like You’ and ‘… from his cd ‘The Wintersky Works’, and ‘Carolina’ from his first cd ‘Audrey in a Dream’. Mike sang ‘Right Before Your Eyes’, ‘One Good day’ and ‘Paper Thin’ from his ‘Million Miles’ cd. It was great hearing several songs from each of them; they may have been tired after something like 23 nights of performing, but I don’t think I have heard either of them sing better or more powerfully than they did at Shebbear. It was wonderful – they were wonderful.

The works

Kevin came on stage looking very tired but he sang as beautifully as ever. He looks as if he has lost weight but none of his abilities or sense of fun. That mischievous twinkle was evident as usual even though he seemed weary at first.
As usual I can’t remember all the numbers or the order in which they came; the trouble is Kevin’s gigs are always so brilliant any thought except of having a great time goes flying straight out of my head. Within a few numbers about ten of us were up dancing, how other people can just sit like stuffed bears I don’t know! As usual there were a lot of jokes flying between the boys, at one point Robert and Paul cracked up, either something Kevin did or sang, whatever, a mystery to the audience but funny all the same. Kevin sang several of the new numbers that he had performed in the Polish Club and no doubt elsewhere. I hope this means there will be a new cd next year!
There was not the same amount of banter and story telling as I’ve seen before. Maybe because they were tired, maybe because they started late, maybe because they wanted to finish in good time as they had a long drive to Glasgow for Saturday night, maybe they felt distanced from the audience because they were up on stage and the audience were mostly sitting further back in the hall… They still packed in all the favourite songs and the new ones and Mike did another couple of numbers in the middle, ‘You Know that I will’ (It may have been ‘You Know That I will’ or ‘Little Things’ or ‘Paper Thin’) He’s a great singer; it would be so good to see him coming back to do a tour on his own.

Highlights

  • Robert’s tantalising intro to ‘Walk on the Wildside’
  • Robert calling the raffle, utterly baffled as to why the best prize was a huge organic veg box, and having one of his surreal rambles about a massage (what a tempting thought…!!!)
  • Bopping with my chum (shows our age!) and seeing Janet enjoying herself
  • Kevin’s new songs
  • Mike singing
  • Paul shivering (even Mr Cool does sometimes feel the cold apparently!)
  • Al doing what Al does so brilliantly (no standing on the stool this time)
  • Hearing ‘I don’t even know your name’ a favourite of mine which they don’t always do – last time in Shebbear the power went off half way through it
  • Robert (he’s always a highlight for me)
  • …and finally

    A most unusual end to the evening, no ‘Fear Nothing’. We finished with ‘Las Vegas’ which is such a great number always done so brilliantly by the Roadtrippers.
    As soon as the lights went up Paul started dismantling his drum kit and the others started putting away their things.
    Just as we were leaving Kevin came into the hall and came over and gave me a hug! He is so lovely, always has time for everyone no matter how tired he is. We had a little chat and I introduced him to Janet which was a great thrill for her. We had a long drive so regretfully we left Shebbear College. Sadly I didn’t manage to speak to Robert, it would have been so nice to have had a hug from him too! We drove home talking non-stop about our fabulous evening with a great orange half-moon low in the sky. A night to remember.

It’s here!

At last!! The long-awaited new album from the Mavericks! It’s called Mono as you can see from my featured image, and there are twelve tracks, all written by Raul Malo, on his own and in collaboration with others. Not only has he written them all, he sings, plays electric and acoustic guitars, piano and percussion, and has co-produced the album too! A many of many amazing talents!

There are four members of the band; alongside Raul there is Paul Deakin, Eddie Perez and Jerry Dale McFadden. The band is supported by a group of amazing musicians known as the Fantastic Four, Michael Guerra, Max Abrams, Paul Armstrong and Jay Weaver.

My cd arrived in the post today and I was so excited, excited and almost nervous about hearing it for the first time. There have been excerpts and preview available, but I have resisted listening to any of them, not even the tiniest little snippet… so every song will be new to me! Whenever a new album arrives, it takes a few plays before I’m able to sort out the songs I really like… and sometimes it takes more than a few plays to really appreciate some of them.

Luckily for me I will be able to hear some of them live soon as the Mavericks are on tour at the end of February, beginning of March!

img066

img067

I can’t believe it was a week ago…

A week ago, three ladies, two nights, one band… My chums Hannah and I went to see the Mavericks on their latest tour, and we saw them not once, but twice, in Manchester and then in Birmingham. When I got home, in a stunned dream of excitement, memory, amazement and more than a little longing to see them again soon, I wrote a brief post.

https://loiselden.com/2013/05/20/the-mavericks-better-every-time-and-better-still/

DSCF3151Three ladies and a friend! Going to Mavericks gigs is all about getting together with friends!

This week I’ve had to really restrain myself from telling everyone I meet all about it, over and over… so I have just headlined how wonderful the weekend was, how sensational the band was, how the whole gigs rocked!

The original Mavericks are the charismatic Raul Malo, lead singer, song-writer, producer, guitarist, Robert Reynolds, vocals and guitar, and the coolest man in music, Paul Deakin on drums. Jerry Dale McFadden who has to be seen to be believed, is on keyboards and vocals, and is the greatest dance you will ever have seen, and the man in the suave suit and amazing shoes and on lead guitar, Eddie Perez.

mavs 8

As well as the five Mavericks, they have a back row of four stunning musicians, Max Abrams on sax, looking like a handsome young professor who is delighted to have found himself in a band, another amazing and good-looking musician Michael Guerra on accordion and sometimes guitar, Quentin Ware who is a fabulous trumpet player with great presence, and the man in the top hat (white on this tour) Elio Giordano who plays double bass. These nine musicians produce a phenomenal sound, if you’re wearing socks they will be blown off!

The Mavericks announce their arrival on stage by having the music from ‘Zorba the Greek’ played which gradually mounts to a crescendo. The audience begins to clap and then to shout and then to scream and when they are absolutely wild (well, at least we were!) the boys come trooping on, dashing and handsome and ready to rock!

We were right at the front on both nights, on the right side of the stage, directly below Jerry Dale and Robert, and with a wonderful view of Raul and Paul.  Behind JD were Elio and Michael, and unfortunately for me, in Manchester, Michael was a little concealed, but I had a great view in Birmingham. Eddie was a little far over but we could still see him  with his virtuoso performance – he is such a star, and we were directly in line to see Quentin and Max.

They launched straight into their set, and hardly had the applause and the tumultuous cacophony of whistles and appreciative yells, yelps and howls died than they were into the next magic number. As usual there was an intermission for the band, leaving Raul on the stage to sing three wonderful heart-stopping acoustics numbers.

How many highlights were there? Too many to mention… the little collective moan when Raul took off his neckerchief? Eddie going wild in his solos? JD’s dancing? Too many to mention!

Here’s just a flavour of what we enjoyed:

I’m getting excited now!

I’ve just booked my accommodation in Manchester and Birmingham to see the Mavericks! I would love to have followed them down to London, or to have seen them in Perth where my cousin lives, or in Gateshead… but twice is amazing and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to seeing them!

I was lucky enough to see them in Glasgow in January .. and I can hardly imagine they could perform better, or that I could have a more amazing time than I did then… but The Mavericks just get better and better every time I see them! There are five in the group, Raul Malo singer, guitarist, song-writer, Eddie Perez on lead guitar, Robert Reynolds also on guitar, the amazing Mr Jerry Dale McFadden on keyboard, and the coolest man on the planet Paul Deakin.

mavs 8Cover of their latest brilliant album, ‘In Time’