Social media is the new record label. They had the brains to do what the record companies didn’t.
When you have a number one record, you have an experience. When you have an audience, you have a career. That’s the Mavericks. – Tony Brown
Miami’s The Mavericks and Nugs.Net delivered quite possibly one of the best livestream experiences I’ve seen, this past Saturday night. Certainly it was the best livestream production I’ve seen to date. But, once one got past the abundant polish and shine, the music was what really stood out. That just might be the story of The Mavericks in a sentence. Here in 2020, the band is celebrating the release of their album, En Español via Mono Mundo Records. It’s their first all Spanish language album and an impressive release that currently hold the #1 spot on Billboards Latin Pop Albums chart.
The Mavericks first broke onto the scene back in 1991, and released their true breakthrough, What a Crying Shame in 1994. The band was, and still is, a cultural plethora of sound, one that incorporates a robust base of neotraditional country, pop and Cuban influences, peppered by other genres and flavors that truly make them unique. Speaking of unique, and as previously mentioned, the band’s livestream Saturday night was just sensational. Presented in the form of a variety show, the stream featured live performances intermingled with band interviews, commentary and insight, and also welcomed legendary Nashville musician and producer Tony Brown as the evening’s special guest.
The band’s lead singer and songwriter, Raul Malo, describes Tony Brown as “one of the coolest people you’ll ever meet.” Brown is one of the best ears in Nashville. He’s produced 19 George Strait records, 15 by Reba McEntire, as well as multiple releases by Vince Gill, Wynonna and countless others. Universal head Jimmy Bowen relied on Brown to find new bands for the fledgling Universal Nashville label, and Brown delivered. Drawn to eclectic, left of center talent rather than those that fit the usual commercial mold, Brown was particularly fond of bands that were great live, and The Mavericks were just the band. As Brown describes, The Mavericks never catered to being a commercial band, and absolutely never compromised.
The evening’s presentation was quite enjoyable. Hearing the band and Brown reminiscence on those early days had me fondly remembering my own record store days. MCA Nashville was quite influential for a good part of the nineties. I recall endlessly playing and selling copy after copy of What a Crying Shame, and the featured commentary took me right back to those days. It was a fun time to be sure, and one that was far to short-lived. As Brown explained, the “only way to enjoy the music industry is to be idealistic. Only way to stay in it, is to be realistic.”
The entire evening was just a blast, and personal musical highlights abounded. Standing out for me were: “Mujer,” “Shine Your Light” and “In My Solitude.” There was new music, old favorites and inspired and timely covers of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” and Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People” (featuring Sweet Lizzy Project). Additionally, the segments and quotes from Tony Brown were priceless, as was a special world premier of the band’s new video, “La Sitiera.” Overall, it was a really beautifully done, clever presentation. Hell, even the band’s segment advertising new merch (https://themavericksmerchworld.com) was far more entertaining than 90% of the livestreams being done daily at any given time.
The Mavericks are:
Paul Deakin – Drums and Vibrophone
Raul Malo – Lead vocals, Guitars
Jerry Dale McFadden – Piano & Organ
Eddie Perez – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Featuring The Fantastic Five:
Michael Guerra – Accordion & Backing Vocals
Ed Friedland – Upright & Electric Bass
Max Abrams – Saxophone
Julio Diaz – Trumpet & Percussion
Lorenzo, Molina Ruiz – Trumpet, Percussion, and Backing Vocals
Co-Hosted by Gabriella Griffith and featuring Tony Brown
Mujer (featuring dancer Laura Treto)
Shine Your Light
In My Solitude
A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke)
No Vale La Pena
This Broken Heart
Every Little Thing About You
(Featuring: Sweet Lizzy Project – Lisset Diaz, Miguel Comas, Wilfredo Gatell, Alejandro Gonzalez, Angel Luis Millet, Hector Tellez, Jr. and Percy Cardona)
Check out The Maverick’s new Mono Mondo release, En Español today via the band’s website at: https://www.themavericksband.com