Brand New Day
(Mono Mundo Recordings)
The Mavericks’ Brand New Day is skilfully paced for the dance floor, straddling southern American borders and shores with a spinning wheel of styles and rhythms.
Led by rhapsodic vocalist Raul Malo, they display their usual high standards on tunes brimming with Tex-Mex accordions, Cuban rhythms, sophisticated 1960s pop, sensitive ballads and swirling bossa nova.
Opener Rolling Along contains the leitmotif of the band’s first album, released on their own independent label – don’t fix what ain’t broken – and suggests a distraction from some of life’s many difficulties.
The title track sounds like a long-lost Motown classic produced by Phil Spector in the 1970s. And if Easy As It Seems does not inspire your inner Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers, check whether you still have a pulse.
Ride With Me combines a tourism brochure with Eddie Perez’s Chuck Berry-esque guitar, horn accents and Jerry Dale McFadden’s swirling organ – it is road music customised for a cabriolet.
The Mavericks have a distinctive talent for mixing and matching, and Malo’s Latino/Miami roots are a big part of his songwriting.
Wish You Well and Goodnight Waltz offer a chance for intimacy on the dance parquet, and Malo really lets it rip on I Will Be Yours, a deeply romantic shuffle.
Closing track For the Ages returns to Doug Sahm territory, deep in the heart of Tex-Mex, ending with a brief singalong perfectly suited to close the party. But don’t despair, the next weekend is just a few days away.