NPR LIVE SESSIONS/KUTX – Raul Malo of the Mavericks
Over the course of decades, The Mavericks have accomplished a great deal musically and been duly rewarded with Grammys, CMA Awards, gold and platinum records and more. But one thing the group hadn’t done before now is record an album entirely in Spanish. En Español rectifies that in transcendent fashion.
And make no mistake, The Mavericks is a band – one that just celebrated it’s 30th Anniversary (after reuniting in 2012 after a brief hiatus). The Mavericks are characterized by their effortless blending of genres gathered under the country and western banner – but there is no doubt their leader Raul Malo is the magnet that draws you into their blend, with his peerless voice a timeless, emotive instrument.
So it was more than a treat when – ahead of his recent Austin City Limits season 46 taping (premiering November 21 on PBS) – Raul Malo sat down by a fireplace in a room filled with vinyl records, casually planted his flip-flopped feet on the floor, picked up a nylon-stringed guitar, and serenaded KUTX with these two amazing songs from En Español – “Mujer” and “Recuerdos”.
A first generation Cuban-American, Malo’s new songs “aim to make the world a little smaller’ and remind us that “music can break down walls.” The titles – which translate as “Woman” and “Memories” respectively – equally affect those who do and don’t speak Spanish, as Malo’s tender singing bypasses the head for the heart. Listeners agree as En Español debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Album Charts – but Raul and The Mavericks are always at the top of the charts in our musical heart.
Musician: Raul Malo; vocals, guitar
Cameras; Michael Minasi; Edit: Michael Minasi; Audio Mix/Master: Jake Perlman; Words: Jody Denberg; Producer: Deidre Gott
Shot at W Austin September 23, 2020