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Raul Malo goes Tex-Mex on latest album

of the Oakland Press

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Raul Malo has taken his music is lots of different directions since his country band the Mavericks stopped working in 2003. His latest, “Sinners & Saints,” continues the tradition, sending him from his Nashville home to Austin, Texas, for a set of Tex-Mex flavored songs.

“I guess after I wrote the title track, even though that one’s not so much of a Tex-Mex thing I knew that some of those sounds were going to creep their way into the record,” explains the Miami-born Malo, 45. “Actually they more than creep their way in; they’re blatantly on there for the world to see.

“As the songs progressed and I started hearing them kind of back to back and started to listen to them as an entire unit ... it all started to make sense to me, and I knew I had to follow that path.”

The sound led Malo to Austin, where he recorded “Sinners & Saints” with Tex-Mex all-stars such as Augie Meyers of the Sir Douglas Quintet and Texas Tornadoes and Shawn Sahm, the son of the late Sir Doug Sahm who’s taken his father’s place at the front of the Texas Tornadoes. Other Austin luminaries also took part in the album, which Malo says also reflects a bit of Motown influence.

“I was up at the Motown museum and was checking out that Studio A and was really imagining how they did it back then,” he says. “If you look at all the gear and all the stuff they had, it was pretty easy to figure out. They didn’t get their sound from gizmos in the studio; they got their sound on the other side of the glass, through performance. It was very inspiring to see that, let me tell you.”

Raul Malo and Shannon Whitworth perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $45. Call 734-761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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