The Mavericks have released a Christmas 2-song single, Christmas Time is (Comin’ Round Again) (Mono Mundo/Thirty Tigers/Red Music/All Eyes Media) which will take you back in time and open an escape hatch for you when you need it most this month. It was produced by Raul Malo and Niko Bolas, and has the added pleasure of being available on 10-inch snow-white vinyl.
The Mavericks are known for their mixture of Cuban rhythms and Americana style; but their first original Christmas song, written by Raul Malo and Alan Miller, “Christmas Time is (Comin’ Round Again), is a throwback rock song with swingy rhythms and Michael Guerra on accordion, the rest of the Fantastic Four (Max Abrams, Julio Diaz, and Ed Friedland), and jingly tambourine. Its early rock ‘n roll tempo, held by keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden and drummer Paul Deakin, keeps the spirit bright. This song, complete with saxophone and hand claps, is only a few vocal notes below conjuring the Four Seasons, and will have you jitterbugging across the floor during the holiday meal. You could almost mistake the straightforward lindy rock beat for earnestness, until you hear lines like “if you don’t believe, at least pretend”, signaling allegiance with those of us who can be honest about the holiday’s critical mass of stress and complexity.
“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” is their B-side candid interpretation of the traditional Christmas song by Barry/Greenwich/Spector. The sad beauty and musical complexity of this song stands on its own to help release all those pent up emotions. The McCrary sisters back up on power vocals and you can feel their love all the way through your earbuds. Raul Malo and Eddie Perez blend their guitar parts in a lovely way, and the Mavericks reveal their persuasive and effective musical skills even as they try to warm your heart with a Christmas album. Don’t miss this album, and stay tuned for more from them next year.
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