Archive for Raul Malo

Video Du Jour: The Mavericks

Posted in Rock Moment, SXSW with tags , , , on March 27, 2013 by 30daysout
Mavericks Waterloo

The Mavericks, partyin’ in the parking lot at Waterloo Records.

More stuff from SXSW: The Mavericks, a country rock band fronted by Raul Malo, have a new album out – In Time is their first studio work in about a decade. It’s heavy on the melodic, danceable stuff for which they are best known.

We caught their free set during SXSW at Waterloo Records. They played acoustic, and they quickly turned the record store parking lot into a party zone. Here’s “Back In My Arms Again,” from the new album.  Thanks to headonfire1105 for loan of the video.

The Mavericks official web site

SXSW Day One: If You Look For It, (Maybe) They Will Come

Posted in SXSW with tags , , , on March 15, 2013 by 30daysout
Des Barres 1

Michael Des Barres was a rock and roll superhero.

Finally hitting the streets of Austin for the sprawling South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival is a relief of sorts, because the machinery of fun is finally set into motion. One may have a plan, or a schedule, and of course that just gets thrown out the window once the music starts flowing from all directions.

We tried an experiment of sorts on our first full day of SXSW: we thought we’d stick in one general place and see what would come to us. We chose a two-or-three block area along the city’s West Sixth Street, a decent distance away from the epicenter of madness closer to downtown. An open-air club called the Dogwood and its next door neighbor, the Molotov, served as our ground zero for Wednesday music, with a side trip to the great Waterloo Records in-store (actually outdoors) stage a block or so away.

The Austin-based soul singer Nakia (yeah, the Team Cee Lo guy from the first season of “The Voice”) was not a bad way to start the day. Wheeling through some horn-drenched covers (correction: NOT covers – see the comments), he drew an enthralled crowd off the street who appreciated his histrionics. Nakia has a wonderful, soulful style and we thought his was going to be the best voice we’d hear all day. We were wrong.

Nakia

Nakia

Then came the full-frontal rock and roll onslaught of Michael Des Barres, the actor/singer who fronted Power Station for a while back in the 1980s. Des Barres is an old-school rock guy. As he explained to us, “The best rock is below-the-waist music,” says Des Barres. “Plain and simple, rock and roll is a synonym for f***ing. It’s not a synonym for meditation … it has to get your body moving and your fluids flowing.”

And that he did, with a crack Austin pickup band that Des Barres admitted he had rehearsed with only once before. Rolling in to “Carnaby Street,” his rock manifesto and title track for his latest album, the Marquis blew our hair back with a short but intense (and loud!) set.

It all rolled to a stop with Des Barres’ own “My Baby Saved My Ass,” mixed into a medley with “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” and a tantalizing taste of “Get It On (Bang A Gong)” done up Power Station style. Des Barres made good on his promise: his set hit hard below the belt and for the record, our ears are still ringing.

Upon strolling next door to the Dogwood, we encountered the great Texas singer/songwriter Billy Joe Shaver on the sidewalk. Billy Joe, carrying his University of Texas tote bag with god knows what inside, said he was going to push up his short set to fill in for the scheduled act who was stuck in traffic.

Lucky us. Billy Joe’s set was nothing but classic: kicking off with “Heart of Texas,” he then rolled into “Georgia On A Fast Train” then slowed it down a bit with “Honky Tonk Heroes.” With the audience in the palm of his three-fingered right hand, Shaver unleashed the gorgeous “Live Forever” before ending on a up note with “Old Chunk of Coal” and the singalong “Try and Try Again.”

Billy Joe’s an American songwriting treasure; at age 73, he’s in the twilight of his epic career so catch this great performer live if you get a chance.

We also liked a raucous country rock unit, American Aquarium, out of Raleigh, North Carolina. They had a nice throwback sound reminiscent of early Steve Earle, or the Gin Blossoms. We couldn’t pick out any of their song titles but it all went down as smoothly as the day’s third-through-fifth beers.

Then, back to the Molotov for a surprise: a pop-up set by the great Raul Malo, frontman for the newly revitalized band The Mavericks. Raul told us he’s going to play with the Mavericks today (Thursday) and Friday in Austin, but his little set at the Molotov consisted of some old rock covers designed to showcase his utterly out-of-this world voice.
Raul Malo 1

Raul Malo, right, with the great Danny B. Harvey.

He rocked “Shake, Rattle and Roll” then put a velvety texture on the evening with a beautiful take on Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou.” A few songs later, he was off into the night – and we are going to try really hard to catch The Mavericks, who incidentally have a great new album, In Time.

It was fairly jarring to step over to the Waterloo Records stage for an overcrowded performance by the rap act Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, currently riding the hit “Thrift Shop.” Starting 15 minutes late, the rappers entered to the ponderous “Thus Spoke Zarathustra/2001 A Space Odyssey/Elvis” intro.

Macklemore mumbled a few unintelligible words and then the sound system blew. After a few minutes delay, they came back and said “let’s pretend this never happened. Should we start the show over?” Oh, please do.

So they start over and stumble through their first tune which received less than enthusiastic response. With their 45-minute allotment quickly draining, they went to their smash “Thrift Shop.” Halfway through a trip to Goodwill, the sound system blew again and the enormous crowd that had been standing in the hot sun in the parking lot, on the street, across the street, on top of buildings and anyplace else they could find, were restless and fed up.

Soon as the hit was over most of the crowd dispersed. On the way out, one guy said it best: “I can’t get those 25 minutes back.”

Check out our SXSW 2013 photos on our Flickr photo page

Shaver

Billy Joe Shaver, left, is an American treasure.

Video Du Jour: The Mavericks

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , on March 5, 2013 by 30daysout

The Mavericks, the alt-country heroes led by vocalist extraordinaire Raul Malo, have released their first studio album in 10 years. In Time is available now, and it features this tune, “Come Unto Me.”

Look for The Mavericks at this year’s SXSW in Austin, about which you will be hearing more from us in coming days.

The Mavericks official web site

Review: For the Ladies

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2010 by 30daysout

Get over it, football’s over and there’s no baseball for a while.  Do you really follow basketball?  Didn’t think so.  Prepare yourselves – Valentine’s Day is Sunday, and you already know this entire weekend is going to belong to the ladies.  And so will this batch of reviews.  Think of it as a favor: if you’re stuck for a little Valentine’s gift, you can always pick up one of these new CDs.

Between her highly successful eponymous 2006 debut album and its followup The Sea, Corinne Bailey Rae experienced the loss of her husband, who died of an overdose in 2008.   “Are You Here,” the first song on The Sea, comes face to face with her grief and then the singer begins to move on with the surprisingly rocking “The Blackest Lily” (featuring the Roots’ ?uestlove on drums).   Although there’s a melancholy thread winding through the songs, The Sea sounds like Corinne Bailey Rae is ready to take her music to a new level.

MP3: “The Blackest Lily’ by Corinne Bailey Rae

Sade also took a break between albums – in her case, it was about 10 years.  Soldier Of Love is less a comeback than a continuation, as the Nigerian-born singer picks up right where she left off.  Listening to Sade conjures a lazy afternoon on a sunny tropical beach, and the singer spins her slow-burning sensuality on standout tunes like “The Moon and the Sky” and “Morning Bird.”  Her songs often convey a feeling of longing and a hint of mystery, all wrapped in arrangements smoother than silk lingerie.

MP3: “Morning Bird” by Sade

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Review: “Lucky One,” Raul Malo

Posted in Review with tags , , , on March 3, 2009 by 30daysout

raul-front

We ease into springtime mode (and SXSW in Austin) with this fine new album from Raul Malo, Lucky One.  This is the first album of original material from the Mavericks front man in about eight years, and fans of the big guy with the big voice won’t be disappointed.  The songs wheel from country thumpers (“Lonely Hearts”) to swing with a little Latin flavor (“Moonlight Kiss”).  Produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, the songs on Lucky One get a big boost from inventive arrangements and fine instrumentation (including Raul himself on guitar).  Malo is huge among Americana (alt-country, country-rock, whatever) audiences and Lucky One is a solid shot to the fence for these folks.  More casual listeners might find some of this a little sugary and schmaltzy, but to my ears the album’s highlights are surefire toe-tappers like the title track.  Raul’s big voice makes him the obvious heir apparent to Roy Orbison – if that sounds at all attractive to you, then check out Lucky One.

Raul Malo will perform at SXSW in Austin:  March 19, free in-store at Waterloo Records, 3 p.m.; and on March 20 at Auditorium Shores, free outdoor concert with Bob Schneider and the Arc Angels, gates open at 5 p.m.

MP3: “Lucky One”

Raul Malo official website