The Mavericks’ ‘Brand New’ return to its roots rocks
Grammy award-winning band, The Mavericks’ new studio album, “Brand New Day” (Mono Mundo Recordings) went to No. 1 on the Americana Airplay charts and has been lauded by the Associated Press, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone Country and the Los Angeles. Times.
The Mavericks perform at 8 p.m. Aug. 31, Musikfest Cafe, ArtsQuest Center, SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem.
“Brand New Day,” a 10-song collection, opens with the Tejano and bluegrass-inspired “Rolling Along.” “Easy As It Seems” delves into the political realm. “Goodnight Waltz” proves that The Mavericks are inspired, passionate and commanding musicians.
In a phone interview, Eddie Perez, guitarist, explains how “Brand New Day” differs from the band’s 2013 LP, “In Time.”
“With every recording project that we do, we’re trying to do something that we haven’t quite done yet. Whether its lyric content, whether it’s a melody line, whether it’s a harmony or a guitar part,” says Perez from his home in Nashville.
Perez joined The Mavericks in 2003. The group was founded in Miami in 1989 by front man, Raul Malo, drummer Paul Deaken, and keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden.
Between 1991 and 2003, the band released six studio albums, and charted 14 singles on the Billboard country charts. The highest-peaking United States single was 1996’s “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” a collaboration with accordionist Flaco Jiménez. The Mavericks received a Grammy Award for the song, “Here Comes the Rain.”
The Mavericks tour extensively in Europe, the United States and Canada. Meeting people of varied cultures and customs has allowed them to deepen their musical message, Perez says:
“There are songs [on ‘Brand New Day’] that have been inspired by the events that we see going on in our country and abroad.
“We don’t try to go so far into that social consciousness that it detracts from the X-factor of what’s really important about this band. We approach our music with an inclusiveness. ’Brand New Day’ is another swing at the fence in terms of communicating our thoughts and our artistic ideas to an audience.
“Creative people have always been the balance to what they’re seeing [in the world] today. Good versus evil are really duking it out right now. It’s an awesome responsibility, even though it’s just playing music to some people. But to me, it’s a chance to give a piece of myself in a genuine way to somebody who might need that at the moment.
“There’s a lot of bravado wrapped up in [this album], too, because it’s a brand-new endeavor for us. It’s our first original record on our own label.”
The band enjoyed having no restrictions in the recording studio other than what they sought to create with this album.
“For me, it was a very luxurious way to do a record,” says Perez. “The music reflects that. There’s a spirit in it that it is more unique than some of the records we’ve done before.
“It was another chance to showcase more diversity. It really comes down to trying to make a difference, and be true to ourselves. In the band’s 25-year history, we’ve never had that scenario.
“The mainstream has always seemed to elude us somehow. We don’t have the same avenues that other younger artists and pop stars have access to. So going at it completely on our own is more befitting to the art we’re trying to create. In doing so, we’ve sidestepped the whole rigors of going through a system.”
Perez says there is a lot of thought and consideration behind the group’s music. They’ve recognized and identified what works for them.
“With an eight-piece band and five crew members, it’s a lot to consider. We do over 100 shows a year. It takes gumption to commit to a two-year tour.”
With an array of musical genres and styles (some within the very same song), The Mavericks’ unified spirit results in an excellent final product.
“Whenever we go into a studio, there’s never a discussion about what we’re going to do. It’s almost as if we all go into a pottery class with a lump of clay, and somehow we all end up making something that seems to match up with the others. We’re musicians to the core, to the end. I feel this is the strongest, most cohesive version of The Mavericks we’ve ever had.”
Fans are drawn to the band’s somewhat unidentifiable appeal, whether they be fans of 1940’s swing, 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll, or 1970’s pop music.
“People love nostalgic things,” says Perez. “Our music hearkens back to a time, and gives people a certain nostalgia that there is too little of these days.”
As for the length of the tour, Perez jokes: “Forever.”
Perez hopes The Mavericks will tour for as long as they are able. “I always want the people that come see us to leave remembering what we made them feel.
“We make this music for everybody to enjoy. We’re not thinking about political affiliations or anything other than: Where’s the joy in this music? At the end of the day, we’re the guys that have to go out there and put the music across in a way that connects with people.”
Tickets: artsquest.org, 610-332-3378