n t r o d u c i n g t h e b a n d
m e e t t h e m a v e r i c k s
Raul Malo, singer, songwriter and guitarist, possesses a
can swoon and soar; equally at home with
ballads (both torch and crooning), homegrown rock’n’roll, swinging jazz and bop, and as a product of his
Cuban heritage, throw in a mambo or five. This provides The Mavericks with a veritable and diverse musical frontman,
who can tackle just about any style that takes their fancy. And at the core of this versatility is the dynamic duo of
'Rhythm City' is the instinctive, versatile, and inherently robust 'combo'-nation of Paul Deakin on drums and
Robert Reynolds on bass. Together they generate that distinctive Mavericks back-beat, or shuffle, or cha-cha heartbeat!
And for the duration of approximately 6 years, from 1994-2000, Nick Kane, the fountain of licks, provided
The Mavericks with a colourful blend of distinguished lead, rhythm and blues based guitar.
And for a similar amount of time, supplementing the voracious live sound over many of those ten years, and also
found on many studio recordings of The Mavericks, Jerry Dale McFadden was THE 'piano player', providing
virtuosity abounding (not to mention the part-time crazy dancing).
In the latter part of the 90's, The Mavericks were also super-sonically assisted by the mighty Havana Horns,
whose members include Scotty Huff, Dick Foust, Doug Bernstein and Matt Nygren.
In terms of American country music, What A Crying Shame
break-through album for The Mavericks.
In terms of rock’n’roll, it is one of the most neglected showcases of ‘pure pop for now people’. The band is by now
in superb form, with a blend of pop oriented songs, shuffle rockers and broken-hearted ballads. Overflowing with
melodies and jangling guitars that would easily be at home on any Beatles record, What A Crying Shame destroys
the difficult ‘third album syndrome’ with a single tap of the toe. Raul Malo, again wrote many of the tracks, often
with other high profile writers, such as Kostas, one of Nashville’s new breed of exceptionally popular writers.
Along with the superb title track, there are many classic moments with the highlight being a magnificent ballad,
I Should Have Been True. There is the jazzy rhythm and blues of The Things You Said To Me and a couple of
excellent covers in Jessie Winchester’s, O What A Thrill and Bruce Springsteen’s, All That Heaven Will Allow.
This vibrancy was well and truly pounced upon by the European
throughout 1998 and 1999, especially
in the UK, where Dance The Night Away managed to reach No 4 on the 'pop' charts. (It also achieved the status
of most played 'live' song of 1999 by the UK Performing Rights Society.) During 1998 the album sold unexpectedly
well in Europe, exceeding 850,000 by the end of that year. However, their homeland only showed comparatively
scant regard for this joyous triumph; with mainstream radio (both country and pop) unable to cope with this outburst
of originality, and promptly threw up the shutters. Consequently, Trampoline in the USA suffered minimal sales.
Through 1998, the band played to packed houses throughout the
Europe, and again in 1999, culminating
with two (1998), and then six (1999), sold out performances at the Royal Albert Hall. The beast had awoken - at
least in those northern Anglo-Viking territories! Whether the rest of the world will catch up, remains to be seen, but
that will only happen if The Mavericks can manage to be heard.
s u p e r c o l o s s a l s m a s h h i t s
Hence The Mavericks, having found themselves outcasts in
with a musical approach seemingly too
rigorous and playful for the average radio programmer, ended this portion of the rock'n'roller-coaster ride with a
typically Maverick parting shot. In the USA, their so called 'greatest hits' was given the outlandish moniker, The
Super Colossal Smash Hits Of The 90's - Best Of The Mavericks. To those who bothered, it certainly was!
The year 1999 also provided 'grinning' guitarist, Nick Kane
acclaim for his first solo album, Songs In
The Key Of E. Hopefully this will translate into some form of commercial success. For as 2000 rolled on with
The Mavericks in another self imposed hiatus, Nick Kane's often vastly under-rated services as a member of the band
2 1 s t c e n t u r y s c h i z o i d m e n
And then there were three.
Raul spent much of 2000 working on collaborations and donning
hat, while negotiating an outlet for
his solo career. Having completed a solo tour of the UK in 1999, he worked in the studio producing and co-writing for
K. T. Oslin and Ethan Allen. He also became a dot.com entity - www.raulmalo.com - providing an avenue for sneak
peeking his solo work. By the beginning of 2001, Raul's other collaborative projects began seeing the light of day.
These included joining the transient group Los Super Seven - a side project from members of Los Lobos - for their
second album, Canto. Another critically acclaimed album, Raul's contributions include an original composition and two
great vocal performances. He has also provided vocals on the old 60's Los Bravos song - Black Is Black, on the new
album by the enigmatic outfit, Los Straightjackets - Sing Along With Los Straitjackets. He has also recently duetted
on a song from the debut album, Hits, by Dominic Chianese.
In April 2001 Raul signed a solo contract with Higher Octave
- a subsidiary of Virgin Records allowing him
to jump straight into the studio with Los Lobos (& Los Super Seven) supremo, Steve Berlin and Alberto Salas
(another recent recruit for Los Super Seven). The album, simply titled Today, was released in October 2001 and
received critcal acclaim. It was also accompanied by another UK tour, but unfortunately was not accompanied by
any significant radio play in the USA, or the UK - a typical fate of late 20th century Mavericks output.
l e t
a k e u p a n d b e f r
i e n d l y
Fast forward to March 2003 and hey presto! - The Mavericks
that all hatchets were long buried, and that the
'reformation' was on! Raul had sought his redemption, and Robert and Paul were there to offer salvation.
Refuge was found in the form of UK independent company Sanctuary Records (better known for promoting the likes of
Lemmy's Motorhead et al - but also recently signed on the magnificent Morrissey), who offered The Mavericks their
first true rock'n'roll recording contract.
It transpired that the new songs Raul Malo had been recently writing could only find their true identity through The
Mavericks, and a quick call around to Robert and Paul led to a happy and hopefully, a fruitful reunion.
With the addition of long time Mavericks' fan and apparent
wonderkid, Eddie Perez on lead guitar duties,
The Mavericks headed back to Nashville's Ocean Way studios in May 2003 to records the new album, again
eponymously titled. The Mavericks was also the name of their first independent release in 1991.
The Mavericks - the album, released in September 2003, was preceded by some warm up dates in the UK during July,
with shows in Liverpool & London, serving to whet the appetite of The Mavericks' last biggest fan base - Engerland!
The Mavericks (2003) abum was solid affair with a collection of diverse Raul originals, still influenced by a diverse range of
musical sources, and again invested with the flair of The Mavericks collective originality. Willie Nelson makes a guest appearance
and the boys justify their welcoming revist to The Hollies' - The Air That I Breathe.
Prior to The Mavericks (2003) album release, Robert Reynolds
continued to tour the UK with Kevin Montgomery,
along with Paul Deakin - as the Road Trippers - during June 2003, and in the USA in August 2003 as an acoustic trio with
Al Perkins. Robert also decided to use his full name of Robert Earl Reynolds, became a dot-com
entity, www.robertearlreynolds.com and released his first true solo record,
the beautiful mini-album that is - Audrey In A Dream, sold mainly at Roadtrippers shows.
So come September 2003, world domination was once again on
With the simultaneous release of singles - I Wanna Know (USA) and Would You Believe (UK),
and a tour of the USA and UK respectively in October 2003,
The Mavericks came back with a vengeance, and with the one and only Jerry Dale McFadden back on board (keys).
But it was all somewhat short lived, the public flame was not fully re-ignited.
The touring did however provide another opportunity to
band in full flight with a fabulous
DVD and CD recording made of their show in Austin, Texas. However it seems that the impetus of the newly reformed
Mavericks soon ran aground, as Raul Malo released an album of bluegrass infected covers with ace session players Pat Flynn, Rob Ickes
and Dave Pomeroy, simply called - Nashville Acoustic Sessions. All the while, Raul also sought to release his next true solo album, another
collection of his favourite 'singers' songs - You're Only Lonely - which finally saw the light of day (or more appropriately - night) in mid 2006.
Robert Earl Reynolds and Paul Deakin continued to tour the UK (and some USA dates) with Kevin Montgomery, again as The Roadtrippers.
A second brilliant mini-album by Robert Earl Reynolds - The Wintersky Works - was released and again sold at shows.
n o t s
o l o n e l y a l l s t a r s
So along came 2006, and once again The Mavericks were in
while the individual members were still
hot-to-trot with touring and many other side-projects.
Raul continued to release several magical albums, and toured continually, including an Asutralian visit in 2011.
Robert and Paul hit the Canadian trail with a brand spanking new and ever-changing collective, simply
called - The Hillbilly Allstars - featuring Chuck Mead of BR549, Mark Collie, Joy Lynne White and Jerry Dale McFadden.
So the road did not end there, it merely reached another
where a variety of avenues opened up,
and down any, the many members of the merry maverick appreciation society, chose to wander.
©2013 chris swann