The Upshot: Live release brilliantly showcasing the group in all its many facets.
BY JOHN B. MOORE
Yes, every band likes to think they are unique; a singular snowflake like no other. But to be honest, for a majority of groups out there, you can usually peg the handful of CDs (or tapes, depending on the decade) that they’ve been playing in their van ad nauseam in the months leading up to hitting the recording studio. The Mavericks, however, were never that band. The Miami group is a Frankenstein of traditional country, classic rockabilly, straight ahead rock, western swing and Tex Mex cow punk – you can hear everyone from Patsy Cline and Carl Perkins to Elvis and X on just about any record they’ve put out over the decades. And they’ve put out plenty since their 1991 debut. But no matter how good they sound in your car or around the house, they are primarily a band built for playing live and proof of that is all over the 16-track All Night Live.
Recorded on last year’s Mono Mundo Tour, the album captures a band 25 years into their career who have managed to perfect their sound without coming off as too polished or contrived. The accordion, brass and cowbells are constants throughout their songs along with the dual guitars and Raul Malo’s thundering vocals. The pendulum swings wildly from a raucous polka/klezmer/country amalgam like “I Said I Love You,” to a delicate, haunting ballad like the Neil Young cover, “Harvest Moon” and just minutes later the band kicks off a floor-stomping number like “Dance in the Moonlight.”
It is simply stunning that a band like The Mavericks, despite winning over millions across the globe have never really been considered a mainstream music act here in the U.S. (despite a Grammy and several Country Music Awards). All Night Live is one more excuse to revisit this brilliant band and their deep catalog of music and realize that they should be.
DOWNLOAD: “Summertime,” “Dance in the Moonlight” and “Waiting For the World to End”