San Antonio accordionist prominently featured in The Mavericks return
Every once in a while, a band comes around and stirs up just enough dust to possibly win a Grammy Award, make a dent in the history of music, pay off a mortgage or two and fade off into the sunset. The first time around, the genre-bending super group The Mavericks worked that recipe to a tee. Sort of. Grammy Award – check, dent in history – check, mortgage paid...
Time has a way of healing old wounds, but when most of them are self-inflicted, those wounds sometimes take longer to heal. When The Mavericks went their separate ways back in 2003, getting back together seemed quite far fetched.
Enter Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta, who managed the band under the MCA label in the 90's and formed his own label becoming a powerhouse in Nashville managing Taylor Swift. Borchetta approached front man Raul Malo about bringing the band back together and Malo, after years of hearing “when are The Mavericks going to do something new?” finally realized that the time was indeed at hand.
Malo, who steadily released records after the breakup, continued to build his fan base with constant touring, strong song writing and a fire to perform on stage that burns in a very rare few. When the the band, Robert Reynolds, Paul Deakin and Jerry Dale McFadden, began talking again and it was decided that they would indeed reform, they reached out to their last former guitarist, Eddie Perez who was a member of Dwight Yoakam's outfit and asked him to join. Perez jumped at the opportunity, leaving comfortable surroundings for the unknown.
Rounding out the band, Malo brought his young accordion guru, San Antonio native Michael Guerra and upright bass funk-master Elio Giordono into the band allowing Reynolds to jump on the acoustic guitar. Add in a searing horn section and The Mavericks are indeed back.
Saving Nashville “In Time”
Props must be given to Valory Music, Big Machine and Scott Borchetta. Nashville has been lost in a funk of teeny-bopper pop and Southern rock party anthems and the release of “In Time” is a breath of fresh air with songs that harken back to a time when music was made to stand the test of time and not just pass the time.
“In Time,” is a 14-track masterpiece that delivers on all fronts, is euphonious in every way, and most importantly lyrically tight. Five of the tracks were released on an earlier EP but the new songs were well worth the wait.
The record kicks off with “Back in Your Arms Again” and from the first swaying guitar lick you know you're in for something special. Once Raul's velvet voice kicks in with “Once I said I'd never want your love again. You showed up tonight and proved me wrong,” you're hooked.
“Lies” is the second track and is a quick paced beat that will keep you tapping your toes while the next tune, “In Another's Arms” highlights Malo's silky voice amidst a gorgeous string arrangement and Guerra's haunting accordion that lingers in the background.
“Fall Apart,” the next track on what is surely to be a Grammy nominated record, brings the mood back around with a break-up song that actually leaves you feeling great. Again Guerra is a highlight with a grooving accordion solo before the bright brass section has a chance to work its own magic.
The ballad “Please Heart Forgive Me” gives me chills every time I listen to it and it brings home my earlier point that this could have been released in the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's up till its actual release and it would still be as powerful as it is...timeless music.
By the time you get to track 13, and just when you think you've heard it all, The Mavericks throw an 8:15 song at you that envelopes you in a silken blanket that you don't ever want to leave. “(Call Me) When You Get To Heaven,” shows off the entire band in full spectrum. The addition of the McCrary Sisters infuses a gospel feel into a breakup song that is destined to end in love. This song will leave you wanting more even after eight minutes.
Most of the songs on this record were cut live and that Mavericks sound and the swagger that comes with it is amplified tenfold live. I've had the opportunity to see them three times since their reunion and I left blown away every time. Once the band begins its tour, the rest of the world will know what myself and Mavericks fans everywhere have always known...this band kicks serious ass.
Title: In Time
Band: The Mavericks
Label: Big Machine Records
March 14, 2013
March 15, 2013
Sam's Burger Joint
San Antonio, Texas