My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Spotlight Artist: Raul Malo and The Mavericks

The-Mavericks-caro-2The Mavericks date back to 1989 when the band was founded in Miami by lead vocalist Raul Malo, guitarist Ben Peeler, bassist Robert Reynolds, and drummer Paul Deakin. The group released an independently produced album in 1991 before signing with MCA who released their first major label collection the following year. During the interim, Ben Peeler left the group and was replaced by David Lee Holt.

In its earliest days, the band was part of the alternative music scene in Miami, focusing mainly on punk with a heavy Latin influence, which undoubtedly came about in part due to Raul Malo’s Cuban heritage. They had moved in a more country direction by the time they signed with MCA. Their first charting single was a cover of Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin'” which peaked at #74 in 1992. Their MCA debut album From Hell to Paradise didn’t garner a lot of critical or commercial attention, but things began to change with 1994’s What A Crying Shame, when the title track reached #25 and two subsequent singles (“O What A Thrill” and “There Goes My Heart”) cracked the Top 20.

The Mavericks’ music was always eclectic and though three of their albums achieved gold or platinum certification, they never received much support from country radio. They never scored a Top 10 hit in the US, although three of their singles – “What A Crying Shame”, “O What A Thrill” and “Here Comes The Rain” cracked the Top 10 on the Canadian country charts. 1995’s “Blue Moon” reached #15 on Canada’s adult contemporary charts and 1998’s “Dance The Night Away” cracked the Top 5 in the United Kingdom. Stateside, their biggest hit was “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down”, which peaked at #13.

The Mavericks left MCA following the release of 1998’s Trampoline and signed with British-based Sanctuary Records. That union yielded one album in 2003. After that they disbanded and the individual members pursued solo careers. A reunion tour in 2012 resulted in a new record deal with the Valory Music Group, which released In Time in early 2013. The album produced one charting single “Born To Be Blue”, which peaked at #46. The group’s second album for Valory, Mono, was released last month.

The Mavericks have undergone a number of personnel changes over the years, with Malo and Deakin the only remaining founding members. We hope you will enjoy our look back at their work, as well as some selections from Raul Malo’s solo discography, during the month of March.

3 responses to “Spotlight Artist: Raul Malo and The Mavericks

  1. paul w dennis March 2, 2015 at 10:59 am

    They did receive considerable amounts of airplay in Central Florida, and I would presume South Florida as well. The turn toward country occurred well before they reached MCA

  2. Ken March 4, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    As far as the mainstream country audience was concerned these guys were always a fringe act. The fact that they never had even one top ten hit seals that case. Thanks to the giant MCA record & publishing voting block at the CMA they received enough votes to win two Vocal Group Of The Year Awards. Both were greeted with complete puzzlement by mainstream country fans who could not understand why a group that they seldom or never heard on the radio could get that award – twice! Talented guys for sure but they never really fit into 1990’s country music. There was so much great mainstream music to choose from that there was no room for fringe acts.

    • robert March 4, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      Who the hell determined that this group is a COUNTRY band–WHOSE country?? They are a wonderful, talented eclectic band-PERIOD

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