All Night LIVE Vol 1
Mono Mundo Recordings
Possibly The Best Party In The World!
I’ve seen Raul Malo play live several time including with a Symphony Orchestra and the Mavericks; in all their pomp and glory twice; so to some degree I’ve been waiting for this album for several years.
There’s no disguising that this is the Mavericks from the swinging trademark instrumental intro to All Night Long; and when Raul Malo’s distinctive voice sweeps from the stereo after about a minute I knew that all was well with the world and the next hour and a half was going to be as good as music gets…..and I was correct.
Perhaps because The Mavericks actually had worldwide hits on the Pop Charts they don’t appear to be given the laurels that their music; and indeed success deserves, but I defy anyone to listen to All Over Again or Fall Apart and not tap a toe or shake a hip….I am doing both sitting at my desk!
It’s all too easy to think that the band are just a back-up for Malo; but when you see them live, or listen on this disc you realise the sum of the parts are very much equal to the total….with guitarist Eddie Perez showing from start to finish what an accomplished and underrated guitarist he is, and always has been. He can do ‘flashy’ when required….his solo on Come To Me is staggering in its intensity and quality but throughout he just adds flourishes of colour that embellish the songs in a way very few, if any can achieve.
But, the true trademark sound that defines The Mavericks is the rhythmic powerhouse drumming of founder member Paul Deakin and the coolest accordion player in the world, Mr. Michael Guerra, who alongside the Tex-Mex bass section form a flexible and unbreakable spine for the songs that Malo sings to take on a life of their own.
Obviously some of the Hits are here in all their glory, with Dance in The Moonlight taking it back to the sweaty Miami Saturday night it was originally meant to represent and Back In Your Arms Again; a personal favourite certainly doesn’t disappoint as the brass section even adds a bit of Ska to their playing if I’m not mistaken. That Ska chunka-chunka beat make a fulsome appearance later when the band let rip on I Said I Love You. A song I wasn’t familiar with, but one Mrs. Magpie and I now love!
That’s the joy of this album, there is surprise after surprise with songs like Stories We Could Tell, reminding me of the Big Bands my mother loved years ago, and Every Little Thing You Do showcases Malo at his crooning best.
But, the biggest surprise of all is the inclusion of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon. The opening bars piqued my interest but Guerra’s mournful accordion threw me off the scent; but this interpretation sounds like the song could actually have been written with the Mavericks in mind, not just an old hippy with an acoustic guitar.
The album, and party comes to an explosive end with the scintillating Come Unto Me, which showcases the talents of each musician then the gears are cranked up for We’re Waiting For The World To End, by which time band and audience must surely all have been exhausted but smiling like idiots.
After 25 years ‘in the business’ the Mavericks have had their collective ups and downs; but this Live album (Vol 1?) points to a bunch of guys who aren’t going to fade away gracefully….and nor should they.
Released October 14th 2016