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From the Country Standard Time Archives

The Mavericks show no rust

Paradise, Boston, Oct. 4, 2003

By Jeffrey B. Remz

BOSTON - Excusing The Mavericks for an off-performance would be quite easy to do. After all, they were only on the second date of a tour in support of their very strong, brand new album - their first in four years - and had not really done very much as a group since then. While it would be easy, that also would have proven very unnecessary. The Mavericks with their potpourri of rock, roots, Beatles, Orbison, country and perhaps most prominently Big Band and Latin sounds showed no rust whatsoever during their 105-minute show. The Mavs played a mix of songs throughout their career including about five from the new disc. The first played from the self-titled new music, "Because of You," had a strong '50s feel thanks to the three-piece horn secton.

"Would You Believe?" has a strong Beatles link with lead singer Raul Malo opining about Planet Earth.

Not necessarily an issue or political band heretofore, the band also did a fine job with the first single, "I Want to Know," which has the band questioning many issues facing the world today.

The Mavericks benefit from three components that any band would die to have: an extraordinarily fine lead vocalist, a solid band and well-written songs. Malo is one excellent singer. He has a sonorous voice, and he is always in control no matter what the style. He also has a very winning stage presence as well. He's appreciative of the crowd, but also knows how to exude warmth and humor. For example, ion introducing one song, he referred to as a "a beautiful song." Realizing immediately how self-serving that sounded, he made fun of himself as did bassist Robert Reynolds. As for the band, drummer Paul Deakin sets a might beauty on the skins. The group also has added new lead guitarist Eddie Perez, replacing Nick Kane. Perez did not seem like a rookie out there, however, as he spiced the songs without ever overdoing it.

Tour additions Jerry Dale McFadden on keyboards, a long a sidekick of The Mavs, and a three-piece horn section also were very prominent throughout. The horns lent the Big Band feel to the proceedings.

And the songs themselves - little of it overtly country these days - hold up well whether new or old. "What a Crying Shame" and "There Goes My Heart" were particular standouts along with "Dream river," done solo by Malo.

Unfortunately a few songs, like "All that Heaven Will Allow " and "I Should Have Been True" were missing from the set list.

But no mistake about it...The Mavericks were rest free and on target early and on wit.