Take A Polka Doted Waltz Through The Cuban Country, With Some Rock and Jazz, Man (The Mavericks, Brand New Day review)

I think some of my favourite things about listening to music are when you can stumble across something you like but can’t believe that you didn’t already know about it. Or to put it another way, when you reconnect with music that you forgot you were a fan of.

 

The Mavericks – Brand New Day
released March 31, 2017
******* 8/10

The Mavericks have been making offbeat country music for just over 20 years, and that’s taking into account the break they took between 2005-2011! Known for their eclectic sound that combines latin and rockabilly influences. I first heard about them back in the 1990s, when I was still voluntold to listen to the country station in my parents house. Remember Here Comes the Rain and All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down? This is sound of The Mavericks that I still remember sitting in my parents faux wood panel station wagon.

But that doesn’t mean the ninth outing for these guys is out of sync with this generation.

There are high standards in place here.

The opening track Rolling Along reminds me of Ukrainian mountain music and features its share of accordion harmonies. A callback to their early work and very peppy to boot, also it’s about drugs. Just in case that wasn’t obvious. Quickly changing pace for the title track, The Mavericks present us with a more somber tone on Brand New Day, its upbeat though, and features some excellent caterwauling from Miami born Raul Malo. Then we get to hear some horns on Easy as It Seems, which is surprisingly easy going with its message of musical sambas from the 50s.

Then again, that sound does continue through on the next song I Think of You, and later with Ride With Me and closing track For the Ages, but the mixing in of early pop, jazz and true bread and butter are what they are known for. It’s comforting to see a group caring the torch along, without dragging it on the floor.

Staying true to their sound has always been important for The Mavericks, and I think that’s why they choose time and time again to stay independent, nobody messes with the production. They have fun with their music and it comes through – listen to Goodnight Waltz and tell me you don’t think of lounge singers, spaghetti, and cocktails. But with a country twang to it.

This music does not fit into any particular genre. I chose country as the prefacing statement because that’s where I heard it first in my youth, but this music reminds me of so many different things at any given moment, that they are eclectic is the really the best way to put it.

It never reaches a point where I’m listening and re-listening to the lyrics or pausing to reflect on ideas within, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile.

Mavericks indeed.

 

theories Summarized

Do you want to take a trip through Americana, post-war and pre-war? Well this is your ticket and I wish you well on your journey, I think there is something of a history lesson and a demonstration that it all comes full circle when we listen to music.

An unorthodox or independent-minded person. The definition of a maverick. These gentlemen fit the bill, and that’s my theory for why they have staying power, not because there is something brand new here, but because they are inclusive and adventurous.

Tim!

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