Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Somebody has been neglecting his blog...

Yes, it's true.  I've been hitting Mavericks concerts like crazy and I will also see Raul Malo in his solo outings at the New Hope Winery December 12-14.  Too busy to ever catch up on the promised reviews of shows I've attended since April's party at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater...  If you're on Facebook you'll know that I've been good at posting photos and videos over there, at FB group Mavericks Fans Unite!  The group is open but joining will keep you very informed on past and future happenings. 

The shows have been fantastic.  So many have commented that each show they attend surpasses the last, and that the sound of the Mavs today is the best it's ever been. 

The musical range of this band is amazing.  If you still wonder about that, check out the cover they did of Motley Crue's "Dr Feelgood"!  >>>   http://youtu.be/cJgWE1La0lU?list=PL1kHLvUAxcsYmaXGjeLI2i70KE5_gKSKx

Need more convincing?  Pick any YouTube video live performance of "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down"!  Or "Sinners and Saints".   Or...  I could go on and on.

With a second album recorded and planned for release sometime early 2015, a Europe tour is planned to support the release.  A brief jaunt to Norway for one date next weekend, a quick trip to Australia for several dates in support of Gary Allan (OK, some of us think he should be the one opening for the Mavs, but let's leave that for another time), a reprise of the Sandy Beaches Cruise in January with the Delbert McClinton crew, and then expect to hear a lot more tour schedules announced for the balance of 2015.

This new song is expected to be on the new album (thanks, Mike Scarborough, for recording off the acoustic live stream) http://youtu.be/rUNgEMptKQo

I say it with almost every post, and I'll say it again:  this band has to be experienced live.  It's a party like no other.  The DVDs convey a little bit of it.  The albums can't really.  See a show!

Useful links

Official band website:   www.themavericksband.com

Best source of tour schedules: http://swagnet.tripod.com/shows.html


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mavericks tour schedule

While I'm composing my thoughts for a review of the Austin City Limits Live show, I thought you could never have too many convenient links to the tour schedule so here goes:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Mavs take the Birchmere "by storm", 2 March 2014

Alexandria, Virginia: a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon with the threat of a major snow and ice storm, yes, another one! on the way, but the prospect of participating in the Mavs' #25LiveTour kickoff week brought a sellout full house to famed concert venue The Birchmere for the fourth night of the 25th anniversary tour.  Reports from the first three nights (Charleston SC, Durham NC, and Charlottesville VA) were of a fun show with many tunes from the old catalog and a fresh new intro to take over for the longtime "Zorba's Theme" as a builder of audience anticipation.  Well, the reports of a killer new show were not exaggerated!

Arriving at the venue 4 hours or more before showtime allowed the crazed earlybirds (OK, I was one of them) prime access to the choice table locations.  Two red tour buses were in evidence:
Ruby One and Ruby Two

Met up with a group of members from Facebook group Mavericks Fans Unite! - some of whom I had met at previous shows and some new friends.  The group is now 1039 strong and growing every day.  It is a great group for sharing information about concerts, a marketplace for last-minute unused tickets, photos, videos, and a great bunch of Mavs fans.

 I was able to watch the soundcheck and enjoy the great joyful interplay between the Mavs including newest member, bassist Jay Weaver (longtime accompanist for Raul's solo shows) and ace horn player Paul Armstrong.  The evening was off to a good and promising start.

Soundcheck:  Sway

After soundcheck Max Abrams came out for a visit with those gathered and awaiting the call.  Finally we were allowed to troop in to the performance space and choose seats.  We ended up in the front row of tables just at stage right in front of Eddie Perez.

Soon the house lights dimmed, and progressively a blue lighting scheme came up on the stage.  Shadowy figures appeared, ghostly blue. 

New intro - a rhapsody in blue of sorts

Jerry Dale started things off on the organ, joined by Eddie's guitar, then Paul's drums, Raul, Robert, Max, Jay and Michael were there and ready, and BOOM

The stage lights came on and the band launched into "Tell Me Why".  Wow. It works! 

The night progressed with old songs and new and favorite covers, the traditional Raul solo acoustic set in the middle, and by the time it was over, more than 2 1/2 hours of great music had filled the great acoustics of the Birchmere and the crowd was loving every minute. 

The setlist was a fantastic mixture and well thought out:

Tell Me Why
Things You Said To Me
Back In Your Arms Again
All Over Again
There Goes My Heart...
Here Comes The Rain
Sinners and Saints
Missing You
Okie From Muskogee
From Hell To Paradise
Every Little Thing
Fall Apart
Dance in The Moonlight
As Long As There's Loving Tonight ('scuse me as I was typing "As Long As I Get Some Tonight" there for a second

Acoustic break, Raul solo
Sweet Dreams
In Dreams

Oh What A Thrill
I've Got This Feeling
Oh What A Crying Shame
Dance The Night Away
Save A Prayer, with Reverend Malo
I Said I Love You
Sway, into that Spanish number with the mystery name
All That Heaven Will Allow
Come Unto Me
All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down

This phase of the reunion tour is just going to get better and better as the band continues to work through the old songs and bring the new members fully into the fold, but I once again found myself saying that it was the best Mavs show yet.  So stay tuned!

The 25th anniversary of the Mavs is a great occasion, and the commemorative and collectible merchandise was plentiful, with even more to come.  Some special items: signed posters, drum heads with Robert Reynolds' original artwork and signed by the band, and Max Abrams' new CD, Sway, featuring Raul on vocals and just released before the band hit the road.

After the show the folks who stuck around were rewarded by Max, Michael, Paul, Robert and Raul coming out to chat in the lobby, as always, very generous with their time.

Shows are selling out very quickly, so make your ticket plans and purchases now to avoid disappointment.  I was only able to get to this show due to another fan's cancellation (shameless plug:  learned about it on Facebook group Mavericks Fans Unite!) and I am extremely happy that I didn't miss out. Plan, buy, and remember, if life should in future get in the way there are 1000+ fans out there and very likely in that group someone who may be able to pick up your unused ticket.

Coming up starting Friday, the tour hits the upper Midwest, then on to Canada before returning to the States.  And European fans don't worry, a considerable amount of shows are planned for Europe in 2015.  I would love to catch this show in Amsterdam!

Oh yeah, almost forgot:  another CD is in the works - songwriting underway and studio time coming up - and a live performance DVD shoot is also planned.  Again, stay tuned.

Cheers - see you out on the #25LiveTour road!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Raul solo at New Hope Winery, two shows

Raul was artist-in-residence again at New Hope Winery in Pennsylvania for two shows on February 7 and 8, and a brief songwriting retreat in the quiet of Bucks County.  This is a great, intimate venue with good seats everywhere.  Accompanied by Clementine the Scene Stealer on the first night (she didn't sing, though), he performed songs from his solo catalog and the Mavericks catalog, and on the second night, Strangers in the Night for the first time anywhere (well, except for the home studio I guess).

After each show he was his usual gracious self with the long line of folks who wanted to say hello, and when you consider that it was out in the cold courtyard during a power failure at the winery - everything running smoothly on a generator because the show must go on - it was all the more generous.

I met a large contingent of nice folks from the Mavericks Fans Unite! Facebook group, and by the way, many thanks to Hillary for the beautiful photos including the new profile pic I'm using here, with her watermark :) 

The MFUs, as we're calling ourselves, are nearly 1,000 strong and growing.  If you like the Mavericks and you're not a member yet, check it out.  The MFU archives now have a lot of photos from this and other shows, and videos from many performances.

The Mavericks 25th anniversary is upon us, and the Twenty-Five Live tour resumes at the end of February.  Hope you get to experience the energy of a live show!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Just a few quick updates...

The 2013 tour has come to an end with two shows at Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, TX, and a show in Lafayette, LA at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.  As you may have noticed, trumpeter Quentin Ware has left the band to pursue other interests, and has been replaced by Tyler Mire.  At Gruene Hall, Elio let us know that he is returning to Nashville to devote his time to his own band, Elio and The Hank Sinatra Band (Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elio-and-the-Hank-Sinatra-band/112609035422394)  Best wishes to Quentin, Elio, and Tyler, and thanks for the music!

New dates are being added frequently and you can keep up with the additions at http://swagnet.tripod.com/shows.html, the band's official website www.themavericksband.com, www.pollstar.com

For the insatiable fan, and there are a few, a new studio album is in the works for 2014.

Facebook group Mavericks Fans Unite is over 811 members and growing every day.  Check it out if you haven't already.

And next up:  New Years Eve in Nashville with the Mavericks - putting the cork in 2013 with a bang, I tell ya.

So stay tuned, the circus continues through 2014!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Raul Malo and Michael Guerra on the road at New Hope Winery 12 08 13

Wait, what is a Raul Malo solo tour post doing in the Mavericks reunion tour blog?  It's like Raul says, he and Michael sing it in Spanish because they can!  So I'm the blog author and I can.  But it's not off topic at all. Two talented Mavericks, the bandleader and the outstanding accordionist and guitarist and, now we can see/hear, vocalist.  So that's why.

It was a snowy and icy night on the hilly roads of Bucks County, but 90% of the sold-out crowd made it to the show.  Now that's dedication.

Sometimes a second night at a venue can be a pale imitation of the first night.  I witnessed the second, which was rollicking, and by all accounts, equal to the first, with slightly differing setlists.

Here's what was played last night, in order, something that I used to do well back in the MML/RTML days :)   21 songs, each a beauty

Silent Night
I'll Be Home For Christmas
Santa Claus Is Back In Town
Welcome To My World
Lucky One
Games Lovers Play
Loving You
For You
Hot Burrito #1 
Me Voy Pa'l Pueblo
Every Little Thing
I Said I Love You
[acoustic solo] Dream River
[acoustic solo] The Wonder Of You
[acoustic solo] Moon River (by request from the audience)
Marshmallow World
Never On Sunday, erupts in laughter, segues into Tico Tico
Polkas? Not an expert, but definitely Beer Barrel Polka was in there
Feliz Navidad
Come Unto Me (was to have been the finale, but then)
Around The World

All of the Dec. 8 videos, every last one of them, are up on Youtube.  Enjoy! So now you know how I remembered the setlist.

Additional reviews, photos, videos are at Facebook group Mavericks Fans Unite - join up now and push the membership over 1,000

Afterwards, Raul and Michael visited with the crowd for quite a generous time, and signed CDs and posed for photos.  It's always a great part of the shows to talk with these talented and did I mention generous artists.

We learned that the Mavericks will do a new studio album, and we learned that Michael is getting a wireless mic and wireless setup for his accordions so that he can wander down in front of the Mavs when he soloes. Well-deserved! 

Really glad that I took a day off after this one, whew.  Hope you see the Mavs out on the road for the best party show around.

Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah!  Happy Birthday!  Cheers! 

Oh yeah, look for The Mavericks, In Time, fantastic 90 minute show airing now on your local PBS stations.  Not to be missed if you can help it.  DVDs were available for a pledge to the stations, a worthy cause (because anyone that airs 90 minutes of the Mavericks is a cause that I can support, eh)

This should link to all 21 videos: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PL1kHLvUAxcsY1Yz-RddQ1pqeP0hLOP_J_" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Allentown Symphony Hall, 24 Nov 2013

Allentown was the last tour stop before a 4 week break for Thanksgiving and some down time with families.  I knew from fan reports from the dates leading up to this one that it would be especially good, with new songs in the rotation and as usual, some surprises.  This, on top of what is already, in my humble opinion, the most energetic and fun live show out there!  So not only was I not disappointed, I found it to be arguably the best one I have seen.  Most definitely the  best show I've seen of the five that I've attended since the band reunited in June, 2012.

What I didn't know about the venue was that it has a long history, having been built in 1896 at the same time as my grandfathers were under construction :)  with 1200 seats on three levels, and great acoustics.

Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, at sound check
Sound check was fun, with bits and pieces of the songs that would be performed that night, in a  completely relaxed atmosphere, plus an older one from Raul's "Today" solo album that was a nice warmup.  You can see from the interplay among the band members during "Pretend" and "Tequila" (not done during the show) that there is a nice comfort level, even on the part of the new trumpet player Tyler, who performed flawlessly in replacement of Quentin Ware.  Quentin, by the way, has moved on to other pursuits. Nice to see Raul's smile when Eddie came in with a melodic guitar part at the break in "The Wonder of You".   And it turned out to be a special treat because Eddie did not play on this one during the show later that evening. 
At sound check, tuning up "the instrument" didn't take long at all
Mockingbird Sun performed a great job as opening act, as they had for several dates in the Northeast, and did several excellent songs a cappella.
At about 8:20, "Zorba's Theme" started to play, and the Mavs took the stage to cheers.
I didn't keep track of the setlist, but I can tell from what's posted on Youtube and my own pics and videos that it included, in random order:
Back In Your Arms Again
As Long As There's Loving Tonight
Every Little Thing
The Wonder of You - solo Raul
Come Unto Me
I Said I Love You
Dance the Night Away
Be My Guest (Fats Domino, first heard 10/8/13 at Tipitina's in New Orleans)
Never on Sunday
Boogie Shoes
From Hell to Paradise
All That Heaven Will Allow
One More Angel
In Another's Arms
Sinners and Saints
What A Crying Shame
Okie From Muskogee
La Bamba ---> Dance In the Moonlight
Moonlight Kiss - with great Elio Giordano solo on bass
All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down - rocking show closer with opening act Mockingbird Sun

I know I've missed a few in this 2 1/2 hour Mavsfest but that's most of 'em.
After everybody cooled off a little bit, most of the band came out to the lobby to say hello, take photos and sign, and just generally do what they do so well, which is give of themselves to their fans.  Jerry Dale had to take a pass as he had a very early flight home to see his family, but I think everyone else came out.  Here's a shot of the maestro working the crowd

Lest I forget, I want to insert a plug for the largest Mavericks fan group on the web, Mavericks Fans Unite.  It's over on Facebook and all of the concertgoers post lots of great content there:  photos, videos, reviews, setlists, historical artifacts - so go over and join up now or we will find you and... no, just kidding, it's voluntary.  But you know you want to.
Photo collection from that night
After Thanksgiving, Raul and Michael Guerra hit the road again for some solo shows, and then 3 more Mavs gigs in Louisiana and Texas, a Christmas break, the Delbert McClinton Sandy Beaches Cruise, and the tour resumes in early 2014.
And on December 8, 2014, happy 25th anniversary to the Mavericks