Album Review: The Mavericks - “All Night Live: Volume 1”

After decades of performing together as a collective, the Mavericks showcase what one can expect if you take in a show in your hometown.

For over 25 years The Mavericks have been making music that can only be described as uniquely them. Blending sounds from influences which range from country, rockabilly, pop and jazz with Cuban rhythms blended with Ska and Mariachi alike. Because of this, the band has become beloved around the world for their hard-to-classify music. Consisting almost entirely of songs from The Mavericks’ most recent albums (2013’s In Time and 2015’s Mono), All Night Live: Volume 1 features 16 great tracks from Raul Malo, Paul Deakin, Eddie Perez, and Jerry Dale McFadden. The band (which includes touring members Michael Guerra, Max Abrams, Matt Cappy and Ed Friedland) energetically runs through the tunes on this, their debut for their own Mono Mundo Recordings label.

All Night Live: Volume 1 opens with Mono album track “All Night Long” and this song sets the pace for the remainder of the record. “All Over Again” (from In Time) blends quite nicely with the preceding track and everything else that follows. “Stories We Could Tell” is pure fun and that’s really what this entire recording is all about. Even the more ballad-y fare like “Every Little Thing About You” is about entertaining the crowd (and us at home with this album) than a showcase of balladry and vocal dynamics, something that’s pretty cool given that Raul Malo is — quite simply — one of the best vocalists to ever sing a song in any genre. In fact, the lone moment where Raul get to show off vocally (though I'd argue being able to sing with tempo and energy is harder -- or at least as difficult as -- singing a torch ballad) is their graceful cover of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.”

All Night Live: Volume 1 is all about a good time and while long-time fans may be wondering where the songs from their earlier records are, that's not really the point here. This is a band, a never quite the mainstream band, unburdened by the need to play the hits or re-record them on a live project. Instead, The Mavericks showcase why we should all get off our butts whenever they come to our town. To have a damn good time.