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The Mavericks - stamping own brand on music industry

By: Jerry Anderson III

Date Posted: 1999-09-18

After listening to country music group the Mavericks’ CD “Trampoline,” it’s apparent this is what you would call fusion in the truest sense. This elite group of musicians manages to capture the essence of traditional country music with a contemporary spin that bursts with excitement. Serving as the Mavericks foundation are lead singer/guitarist Raul Malo, bassist Robert Reynolds, and drummer Paul Deakin. Add to the mix newcomer guitarist Nick Kane and you have a uniquely winning combination. Together the quintet effectively fuse their early rock influences along with country music for a signature sound all their own.

A product of the late ‘80s Miami music scene, the Mavericks, led by Malo, enjoyed a local following built by years of performing primarily in rock venues, whose audiences sometimes didn't appreciate their brand of music. But supporters were far more in abundant than critics, which ultimately gave the group the courage to release their initial CD independently. The decision to record and release a CD would serve as a turning point, as their unique style of country, rock and blues soon caught the attention of a few Nashville record executives who took an immediate liking to the group, and invited them to audition in Nashville. After an impromptu gig performing for executives from MCA Records, the group was signed, and the state of country music forever altered.

The Mavericks debut CD for MCA Records, the self-titled “The Mavericks,” wasn’t the groundbreaking disc many had hoped for, instead it offered fans a small taste of greater things to come. However, the release of their sophomore effort “What A Crying Shame” in 1994, was praised both critically and commercially. With hit singles “O What A Thrill,” and “There Goes My Heart,” the Mavericks had officially arrived, and in doing so, the CD reached platinum status with 1,000,000 units sold. Success continued for the group with the release of their gold certified 1995 “Music for All Occasions.”

Recording a CD in a style alien to their accustomed country genre has liberated Malo, allowing him to go for the core of a song more freely and without reservation, best demonstrated on the Mavericks fifth and current musical offering “Trampoline.” This disc finds the group integrating Latin rhythms, horns and enchanting lyrics along with some of Nashville’s finest session musicians effortlessly for an intriguing mix of epic proportions. Songs like “Someone Should Tell Her,” and “Save A Prayer” will no doubt be added to the group’s repertoire of hits, that include “ALL You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” and their Grammy Award winning single “Here Comes The Rain.”

The Mavericks are musically fascinating breaths of fresh air - so don’t expect anything even remotely near what we think of as traditional country music. To get a bird’s eye view of the group, catch them live at Camp Hansen’s outdoor “Friendship Festival” July 18. The action stars at 7 p.m. with popular local country group Roadhouse serving as the opening act. Tickets are $18 each and can be purchased from any MCCS club.

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