[Interview] The Mavericks

Celebrating 30 years of getting people on their feet

It is the rare band that celebrates its biggest burst of success almost 30 years in, but the Mavericks are thrilled they have found a magic potion.

Singer Raul Malo, who formed the band in 1989, and his comrades have released two of their most popular records, “In Time” and “Mono,” since 2013.

“Oh yeah, we have been busy bees,” says guitarist Eddie Perez with the infectious laugh that accompanies almost every sentence. “We did 125-plus shows last year and still found the time to go into the studio to not only put the finishing touches on the double live record, but we also found some time for the creative energy with the record of new songs that we have coming out in April.

“There’s a lot of energy that’s behind (the band) right now. We’re very, very pumped and excited about it.”

The guitarist is the new kid in the group, joining Malo, original drummer Paul Deakin and longtime keyboard player Jerry Dale McFadden in 2003. Just as Perez was getting settled, the group broke up as Malo pursued a solo career, but reunited in 2012.

“I feel that we were missing the camaraderie of being together,” says Perez, who played on occasion with Malo during the hiatus. “It just seemed like we were all ready to do it again, it was a very organic thing. Once we all hooked up, we were off to the races and it feels like we haven’t slowed down.

“We’re at a place now where it really feels like we’re a bunch of teenagers in the garage learning music for the first time. I think the stage show is a celebration of that. That’s why we travel the miles … it’s for those moments.”

Ah, yes, the live show. The Mavericks have won Grammys for their recordings, but they have won the hearts of fans in concert. Malo’s once-in-a-lifetime voice “certainly doesn’t hurt,” Perez laughs, but the players (augmented by four additional musicians) are all in with the audience.

“Even before we take the stage, there’s some excitement about all of this (in the crowd),” Perez says. “We feel it, too, and it’s joyous. I see it in the smiling faces, I see it in the hands waving uncontrollably, the people dancing in the aisles – if you want to call it dancing.

“It all goes to the central point of creating this, in my opinion, amazing musical gumbo that you can only get in one place. You know what I mean? In the whole world, you can only find it right here!”

This soliloquy is interrupted by laughter on multiple occasions, but that doesn’t detract from Perez’s sincerity. He knows he is a lucky man and is thankful that the years of “struggle and strife, ups and downs in the business and personal relationships” have brought him to this point. He has no intention of hitting cruise control now.

“If you’re not having fun, there’s really no point in doing this,” he says. “You’re going to a Mavericks’ show and you see four sour grapes on stage? There’s no magic there.”

The Mavericks play the Taft Theatre Sept. 20, 2019.

Watch the Mavericks play “Every Little Thing About You”


Originally published in 2016

Each week, Bob Hust and Bill Thompson feature the best songs – old and new – from artists they have loved for many years and others they have just discovered. The best songs transport people to a time and place. That’s the foundation of BS&B.

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