Last September, the Americana Music Association honored The Mavericks with the Americana Trailblazer Award. It was part of the Americana Music Association’s Select Class of 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees.
The Mavericks will perform songs from their first Spanish-language album, “En Español.” at 8 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Brown County Music Center in Nashville.
Rolling Stone’s David Wild said, “In any language, The Mavericks are a group like no other and Raul Malo remains a vocalist who speaks fluently and directly to the heart.” The Pittsburgh Post Gazette compared Malo with Ritchie Valens, George Jones, Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley.
Malo, who writes songs and sings, leads the band that was born in 1989 in Miami. His family, from Cuba, has served as an inspiration for the group’s music style, which includes claves (sticks) and string band. Christened Raúl Francisco Martínez-Malo Jr., Malo is the son of Cuban exiles and grew up in Miami’s Little Havana.
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The Mavericks’ second country MCA studio recording album, “What a Crying Shame,” resulted in four Top 40 hits and led to several country music industry awards in the mid-1990s. Their single “Here Comes The Rain” (1995) won them a Grammy Award, and “Dance The Night Away” (1998) displayed their international popularity when it became a Top 5 pop hit in the United Kingdom.
The band lay low from about 2003 to 2012, when they roared back to the stage. Fans come for the ensemble’s danceable rhythm, vibrant horns, bilingual singing and Eddie Perez’ deeply twanging guitar. From the start, Malo and drummer Paul Deakin have been Mavericks; the current lineup, which in 2020 released the band’s first-ever all-Spanish album, foreshadows success. Using an Americana structure, the musicians have re-asserted the Hispanic heritage of country music.
On NPR Morning Edition, Malo said, “And if listeners are reminded that the Latin American lineage The Mavericks explore is part of American roots music, that’s not such a bad outcome either.”
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Before “En Español,” they had tried some Spanish, and “In Time” (2013) had a Spanish version of the album’s well-loved “Come Unto Me.” “En Español,” however, is The Mavericks’ first all-Spanish work.
After touring for three decades it can be hard to stay interested in one’s own material, let alone keep it fresh for listeners. So, sometimes The Mavericks do an entire album of cover songs; sometimes it’s something completely new, such as “En Español.”
Apparently that roughly 10-year hiatus caused little harm. More than 700,000 fans track them on Spotify.
Text The Mavericks at 615-398-4987. Find them at https://linktr.ee/mavericks and at themavericksband.com.
If you go
WHAT: The Mavericks: “En Español” World Tour.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Jan. 22.
WHERE: Brown County Music Center, 200 Maple Leaf Blvd., Nashville.
TICKETS: browncountymusiccenter.com. Proof of a negative test or COVID-19 vaccination required.