The Mavericks are a big blazing neon light in the firmament of American roots music. True to their name, they have paved their own way with a sound so multifaceted that it really is difficult to categorize them, save the undeniable description one critic gave them as a “portable party.” The Mavericks are showmen to the core, exuberantly mashing up the sounds of Cuban heat, rockabilly, Bakersfield country, surf rock, jump blues, ska, vintage juke joint, Western swing and straight-up rock and roll.
From the group’s inception in 1989, when the boundaries between musical genres were pretty cut and dried and any act remotely “country” tipped their cowboy hats to accepted Nashville norms, this Latino-strong, Miami-bred group had no niche to neatly slide into. It wasn't long, however, before their singles—such as “What a Crying Shame,” “Here Comes the Rain,” and the instantly recognizable “All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down”—were two-stepping and shimmying up the charts, heart on sleeve and drink in hand.
Recently reformed after an eight-year hiatus, they've kept their expansive, danceable sound rock-steady since their mid-‘90s heyday. The soaring velvet baritone of lead singer and founder Raul Malo, devotee to the fathers of country music and child of Cuban refugees, is still the high-voltage juice behind this powerhouse, and his bandmates all still play like they have a rose between their teeth. The party is on: just follow the flashing sign. LS/FF