Since reforming five years ago, the Mavericks have released two studio albums and 2016’s All Night Live, Vol. 1. And again here, the core quartet of vocalist-guitarist Raul Malo, guitarist Eddie Perez, keyboard player Jerry Dale McFadden, and drummer Paul Deakin are augmented by added musicians.
Malo’s original tunes remain powerful and eclectic, beginning with the jaunty tejano-bluegrass fusion “Rollin’ Along,” its driving rhythms enhanced by horns, fiddles, and banjoist Scott Vestal. The band’s sound continues to reflect Malo’s vision, offering a sound both cohesive and diverse – their trademark for over two decades.
Perez demonstrates his versatility in both the ensemble and as an occasional soloist. He adds embellishments and rhythm licks in all the right places. His punchy rhythms propel the glossy, ’50s-flavored mambo “Easy As It Seems” and the shuffle “I Think Of You” with its flawless, subtle embellishments.
When Perez does step out to solo, his tight, intense breaks add a powerful edge. On “Damned If You Do,” his slashing, chord-driven intro paves the way for Malo’s fiery vocal, and he unleashes another short break in the middle. He does the same on the smoldering title song and injects a brief, screaming break to the R&B tinged “Ride With Me.”
This article originally appeared in VG‘s June ’17 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.