Play The Hits
Mono Mundo/Thirty Tigers
If Ever Tarantino or Scorsese Needs a Bar Band then Look No Further.
Probably because they’ve been around forever The Mavericks have covered many different bases in their history; yet sadly are still stereotyped because of a couple of billion selling singles.
Here they ‘go back to their Roots’; but not the Roots you’d first imagine as these are all songs that they love from the radio growing up; or even from their earlier Bar Band days in Miami ……. which is the angle I’ve used to get the most out of this eclectic collection.
I’ve never heard the sassy and well named opening track Swingin’ before; although I’m assured it was a ‘hit’ for John Anderson but I sure do recognise the next song; Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way. Perhaps an odd choice; but listen to the depth in the story and the way The Mavericks add their own special ‘magic dust’ and it’s a musical marriage made in Heaven.
The band’s signature Tex-Mex ‘sound’ only comes into play on a couple of songs, with Blame It On Your Heart and their fascinating and beautiful re-invention of Springsteen’s Hungry Heart; which now becomes a beautiful Friday night shuffle in these capable hands.
To some extent singer Raul Malo has been down this path before but here with The Mavericks in full flow he really can twist a song around until it sounds nothing like the original; nor The Mavericks either, with Don’t Be Cruel now sounding like a Big Band tune and Blue Eyes Crying in The Rain a gentle heartbreaking croon; akin to Andy Williams singing alongside Jose Feliciano.
A s expected , there are surprises (good ones) around every corner. I love the tones in Why Can’t She Be You and by the time you get to album closer, the Elvistastique I’m Leaving It Up To You, the listener can be forgiven for feeling emotionally shattered, and they will be by the time this fabulously delicate and heart-pounding love song finally ends.
Then there is the difficult choice for Favourite Track status.
Will it be Hank Cochran’s tearjerker Don’t You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me?) or the more contemporary duet with Martina McBride, Once Upon a Time? Both certainly have their merits and both have tugged at my own heartstrings over the last couple of weeks; but there’s something really enthralling about the latter that has brought me back to it, and it alone a few times today that the title of RMHQ Favourite Song goes to Once Upon a Time.
To some degree this album will confuse several long term Mavericks fans; but as a stand alone album; it is what it is and I’ve had a barrel of fun listening to it and imagining The Mavericks being the House Band in something like The Sopranos or even a Tarantino movie.
Released November 1st 2019
Buy it here https://themavericksmerchworld.com/collections/play-the-hits