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The Mavericks, In Time
After the triumphant emergence of Raul Malo as a solo artist (how good were his Bluesfest shows!?), the great singer has teamed up again with his original outfit The Mavericks. Malo is clearly going through a purple patch and while his gigantic voice dominates In Time, The Mavericks bring an energy and intensity that is different to his solo releases. With founding rhythm section Paul Deakin and Robert Reynolds teaming up with keyboard player Jerry Dale McFadden and guitarist Eddie Perez, the band sounds better than The Traveling Wilburys’ wildest dreams – a delectable mixture of Tejano cowboys, old school R&B and vintage pop, fronted by a Cuban Roy Orbison / Elvis.
The album reportedly blossomed from an original agreement to try and re-form for a few festival dates. The band found that the magic was there, stronger than ever, and recorded with little rehearsal or pre-production. They clearly had no problem conjuring material, with 13 tracks making the cut.
“This is a very masculine record”, Malo has said. “There’s a little bravado in there, I’ll say that. It’s the bullfighter with the flower in his mouth…” It’s true, you get the romance and valour of the triumphant matador shining through the music, an attitude rarely heard in song these days. Which isn’t to say it’s all stamping and ostentation (though they do that with spectacular grace); Malo and band are capable of breathtaking tenderness on songs like ‘In Another’s Arms’ and ‘Amsterdam Moon’. I can’t think of another band that can take the listener back to the golden days of rock ‘n’ roll without deliberately trying to sound retrospective. It’s thrilling.
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