The Fix List: The Mavericks
In the first of our new feature Jerry Dale McFadden from The Mavericks looks through the mists of time to pull out his recommendations from the band's back catalogue and tells us why he chose them.
Best known in the UK for 1998’s ubiquitous ‘Dance The Night Away’ the band have been nominated (and won) Grammys and various country music awards. Having played keyboard in the band for over twenty years Jerry is well placed to pick gems from their eight studio albums, and some rarer live and tribute records. Jerry's choice of tracks are playlisted for Spotify and Rdio users below; read on to get the background to The Mavericks Fix List.
‘From Hell to Paradise’ (from the 1992 MCA debut album From Hell to Paradise)
“This is still a great song, if you ask me. Written about one of Raul [Malo]’s family member’s ordeal of escaping Cuba, it still rings true today. I know Raul has talked a lot lately about going to Cuba and playing there for the first time. I imagine it will happen soon.”
‘I Should Have Been True’ (from the 1994 MCA album What a Crying Shame)
“I picked this song from the Crying Shame album because I thought some folks would find it interesting that Raul wrote this song with Stan Lynch. Stan was the original drummer in Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. Besides being a fantastic drummer, Stan is a wonderfully talented guy who has written or co-written lots of great songs in his career as well as producing records. Sweetheart of a guy as well. Always a joy to be around.”
‘Here Comes the Rain’ (from the 1995 MCA album Music for All Occasions)
“I had to choose this one because it is the song that we won our only Grammy for (as of this writing!). I’d say it was a perfect example of the Mavericks sound in the 90’s. By the way, the title of the album came from an old business card that our drummer, Paul Deakin, used to have. It offered his services as a drummer and another way he used to make money. The phrase on the card said, “Music for all occasions and lawn service.””
‘Dolores’ (from the 1998 MCA album Trampoline)
“I love this song! It was so different (as was much of the record) from where the Mavericks had come from. The truth is this album’s scope was the genesis of where the band is now. We finally were allowed to make the music we wanted to make without any predetermined parameters. This was the jumping off point. By the way, when we used to perform this song, Raul sang it through a megaphone to get that vocal effect.”
‘Would You Believe’ (from the 2003 Sanctuary Records album The Mavericks)
“My favorite song from this album! What a great pop song. I don’t think Raul gets enough credit for his pop-influenced songs. It’s a song that I wish I had written. There are some other gems on this album, though the record itself is slightly weird to me as a Mavericks record. Kenny Greenberg (co-producer) didn’t quite grasp what The Mavericks were really about.”
(Editor's note: it's impossible to find this track on streaming so it's missing from the playlists below. Soz.)
‘Back in Your Arms Again’ (from the 2013 Valory/Big Machine album In Time)
“This is the first song on the album and is the call to arms for the future of the Mavericks. It was the first song that we recorded for the In Time album and it set the tone for the rest of the recording. For the whole story, I should mention that I was driving up to Nashville from Jacksonville, FL (where I live now) to start the record. The guys were setting up the first day to begin recording the next day, but they started getting sounds in the studio and were already ready to cut something, but I wasn’t there yet. I got a call while driving asking how far I was and letting me know to be ready to cut as soon as I got there. Within minutes of walking into the studio (having no rehearsals and having not played together in almost nine years) I threw on some headphones and we recorded the song immediately. Things have only taken off from that point!
‘Let It Rain (On Me)’ (from the 2015 Valory/Big Machine album Mono)
“This is my favorite song from this record. I’m pretty sure that most people don’t know that we basically record as a band live in the studio, all of us playing at the same time. We’ve been doing that since 1998’s Trampoline. We’re known for being a great live band, so why wouldn’t we record live in the studio? It just works for us. Sure, there’s some additional stuff added on, but the basic tracks, including the tracking vocals (which is the vocal you hear on the record 98% of the time), are recorded live. Back to ‘Let It Rain…’ I think this a perfect pop song. There’s a time in music history that a song like this would be a worldwide smash. Things are different when it comes to radio and charts now. It’s a beautiful song and I doubt anyone would argue with me.”
‘Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down’ (from the live 1998 MCA EP It’s Now! It’s Live!)
“I picked this song to give everyone an idea of what we sounded like live, back in the day. This is before we traveled with a horn section, so it’s a pretty tight five piece considering that we used to play on average of 250 shows a year. Though it is an old Hank Williams number, we were doing our Louis Prima take on it. We were way into Louis Prima back then! (Still are!).”
‘Every Little Thing About You’ (from the live 2004 Sanctuary album Live In Austin Texas)
“This song originally appeared on one of Raul’s solo records, but we’ve been playing it for so long that it has become a staple in our set and is now an honorary Mavericks song.”
‘True Love Ways’ (from the 1996 Buddy Holly tribute record on Decca Records Not Fade Away: Remembering Buddy Holly)
“A lovely cover for a Buddy Holly tribute that Nick Lowe produced. Raul couldn’t get to the studio until later in the evening, so Nick Lowe sang the tune while we cut it live. Wish we had a version of him singing it. Raul came in later and sang it beautifully. It is one of my all time favorite songs, I must say.”
(Editor's note: another impossible to find on streaming track, again it's missing from the playlists below. Double soz.)
The Mavericks' Mono record is available now at all good online and offline music retailers.