Artist: The Mavericks
Album: Brand New Day
Label: Thirty Tigers
Release Date: 03/31/2017
Founded in 1989, the Mavericks are now pushing 30, but the Latin/country/rockabilly/rock/heartthrob band sounds as fresh as it did two breakups and nine albums ago (twelve, if you count compilations). Despite the recent loss of founding bassist Robert Reynolds, members Raul Malo (lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, piano and percussion), Paul Deakin (drums), Eddie Perez (electric and acoustic guitars) and Jerry Dale McFadden (piano, organ, vocals, irrepressible dancing) have been together since 1994, and their professionalism shows both in their recordings and on stage.
Sticking with their successful mix of Latin-tinged Americana and country, once again lead vocalist Malo has written or co-written the bulk of the album, alternating irrepressible dance tunes like “Ride With Me” (he don’t mean in a car, Sweetie) to the romantic ballad “Wish You Well” and the slightly more uptempo but equally romantic “I Will Be Yours,” featuring irrepressible rhythms and sexy saxophone scoops.
The title track barrels ahead with Deakin’s throbbing percussion, Malo’s unmistakable voice and another of the Mavericks’ trademarks, optimism. Their songs may bring you to tears, but they will never, ever, bring you down.
Interestingly, the album starts with an irrepressible tune, “Rolling Along,” that sounds very much like a philosophy the band has developed in order to stay so relevant through the ups and downs the band has endured, including the relatively recent Reynolds’ intervention: “Don’t fix what ain’t broken. While Willie’s still smoking, we’ll just keep rolling along.”
There’s smokin’ new music here, and there’ll be more Maverick music in the future. Damned if that isn’t the best news I’ve heard this year.