September 15, 2023
with special guest McKinley James
Reserved Seating: $50, $60, $70, $80
The Mavericks, the eclectic rock and country group known for crisscrossing musical boundaries with abandon, has gone through three distinct phases since it was founded in Miami in 1989 – an initial period of heady success marked by big hits and critical acclaim in the ‘90s, a long hiatus starting in 2003 when the musicians each went their own way, and finally, a triumphant reunion in 2012 which held long enough for them to recently celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary.
Now, The Mavericks have ushered in the fourth phase of their evolution with the #1 Billboard debut of their first-ever, all Spanish album, En Español, released on the band’s own Mono Mundo label. Although all 12 tracks are in Spanish, as the title suggests, the collection represents a diversity of musical styles and cultural traditions, from tender boleros to brassy mariachi to re-imagined Afro-Cuban classics. Seven of the tunes are familiar gems drawn from the vast Latin American songbook, while five are originals written or co-written by Malo.
Like the band’s entire body of music, this one album cannot be boxed into a single category. The songs are as diverse as Latin America itself, and as cohesive as the ideal of the American melting pot. To season this rich musical paella, The Mavericks add their signature country/rock/Tex-Mex flavors and a refreshing spontaneity to the mix. En Español flips the band’s usual fusion formula, which adds a striking assortment of genres – salsa, ska, norteño, mariachi, and much more – to its sturdy rock/country base. Now, the foundation is solidly Latin with streaks of irreverent rock and twangy guitars running through it, all branded with the unmistakable Mavericks style.
The first thing you notice about McKinley James’ extraordinary new EP Still Standing By is the serious mix of Motown soul and blues-based guitar playing. It doesn’t sound like the type of “blues” you get from traditional purveyors of the genre, but instead from a guitarist who understands chord theory so well you could swear you’re hearing a horn section sometimes. That’s because he leads a trio, and while guitar stores reverberate with licks from ham-fisted modern bluesmen when they don’t know shuffle from shinola, McKinley would walk into that guitar store, plug in, and summon the spirits of his own idols, nearly forgotten pioneers like Otis Rush and Johnny “Guitar” Watson. Still Standing By is his third EP, all of them fine listens, and here’s the thing… McKinley is 19 years old. Already a veteran before he’s old enough to drink.