The Hippo


Jul 4, 2020








The Mavericks. Courtesy photo.

The Mavericks

When: Saturday, May 10, at 8 p.m. 
Where: Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord
Tickets: $38 & $48 at  

Still dancing the night away
The Mavericks come to Concord

By Michael Witthaus

 The lead song from the first Mavericks album in a decade — appropriately called “Back in Your Arms Again” — announces the band hasn’t lost a step. It has all the elements — Farfisa organ riff, percolating Tex-Mex rhythm spiced up with mariachi horns. Soaring above it all is Raul Malo and his majestic baritone.

When a group of promoters approached with a reunion idea in 2012, they were thinking of hits like “What a Crying Shame” and “Dance the Night Away” — not something new. 
“They offered an exorbitant amount of money,” recalled drummer Paul Deakin. “I remember thinking, that sounds great but Raul is never going to want to do it.”
With a solid solo career since the band’s 2003 breakup, Malo “was very vocal that the Mavericks were done,” Deakin continued. But the three original members — Deakin, Malo and Robert Reynolds — got together for dinner anyway. After catching up on the six years that had passed since they’d all talked, Malo surprised them. Not only did he want to tour, but he’d written a batch of new songs that were perfect for his old band, too.
As Deakin recalls it, making 2013’s In Time was a storybook tale. Three weeks of studio time was booked, with breaks in between. But most of the work was done in the first two days — ostensibly setup time. Malo shouted, “let’s cut some!” as keyboard player Jerry Dale McFadden was still en route from Jacksonville. 
McFadden arrived 30 minutes later and sat down to play. 
“The first notes in eight or 10 years … we got it on the second take,” said Deakin. “We were not supposed to be recording, and we did nine songs in two days.” 
The new disc is as good as anything from the Mavericks’ heyday, made even better by the crucible of breakup and reunion. 
“Our band didn’t end well; it’s not that we hated each other, but the business can get to you,” said Deakin. “But the brotherhood is stronger than it’s ever been. We sound better and we’re better friends. I know it’s a cliché to say we’ve made our best record … because all bands say that. It’s like whoever you’re sleeping with right now is the best lover you’ve ever had.”
Fan reaction bears him out. The reunion began with a set at the Stagecoach Festival in California and continued through most of 2013. The band played through the new album every night to great response. These days, shows feature just a couple of songs from In Time. Deakin said that crowds are even better in the current round of touring.
 “I was worried … it would die down this year, without a new record out. But really, we’re selling out like 80 percent of our shows and playing in markets we’ve never played before.”
A New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival performance opened with a rave up cover of Fats Domino’s “Be My Guest,” followed by “Back in Your Arms Again.” 
“The place erupted,” Deakin said, adding that their set caught the eye of a certain golden god of rock. “We opened up for Robert Plant, and I’m gonna brag now, this is one of my highlights. He stood and watched the whole show and he told one of the people who work with us, ‘I love this band!’ We watched him, and later we were by our trailers. He saw us, ran over, and said, ‘Your last album was nothing but great — I loved it!’ We were just like, ‘Holy sh*t! Robert Plant!’ That was really, really cool.” 
As seen in the May 8th issue of the Hippo.

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