Friday, May 31, 2024

Record of the Month

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!  

We are pushing 30 years since I first saw the Mavericks. They opened for Mary Chapin Carpenter down at the Riffe Center (I think) in Columbus. 

For those who haven't seen or heard them, honestly, no other voice truly compares to their lead singer, Raul Malo. Roy Orbison would be the closest comparison, but with out the Hispanic flair. And a much fuller vocal. 

The Mavericks have done Country, Latin, Tex- Mex, 100% Mex, Country-Pop. They've had a few medium hits on the country charts. They are talented and should have greater exposure.  My opinion, of course. Country music, as it stands today, has little use for talents like the Mavericks. They're not singing about beers, bars and pick-ups. Their masculinity and patriotism don't need to be waved in front of you to get airplay. They're better than that. 

Moon & Stars continues with their talented output. This is a band who uses no studio trickery, though I don't remember them using too many outside artists in their recordings. There are four "guests" this outing. I don't know any of them, though none are bad. 

The songwriting and production on this disk is a broad range, and it works. They don't stick to A style or tempo. Ballads or Mariachi and anything in between. There's even a a sax on "Here You Come Again" (not the Dolly Parton song) which doesn't grate on me. ....and that's a tough chore. 

The band evokes the Everly Brother on two songs - mostly on "a Guitar and a Bottle of Wine", but decently done on "And We Danced". Both are great. Love the former. 

Ditto with "Without a Word".  All lower keys involved - all instruments, lead and backing vocals (the latter which I fucking love). 

As for the collaborations, "Live Close By (Visit Often)" was written decades ago and recorded by KT Oslin. But since it was a Malo composition, maybe it just works better in his hands. Of course, maybe a female singing a song about no strings sex was too progressive for the 1980s. 

The closing song, "Turn Yourself Around" is very Beatle-esque. Kind of a cross between "Strawberry Fields" and any of the unfinished Lennon songs the rest of the band put together posthumously.  Yet, it works. 

Maybe the Mavericks can put out a bad disk, but I haven't heard one. Granted, I don't really own their Spanish speaking disks, as I don't speak the language, but I'm guessing they're probably very good too.

NOTE:  for those who might not have noticed, there was a second post yesterday. If you're interested in seeing that, feel free to scroll down.   .......or not. 

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