Raul Malo is happy to be doing his annual holiday tour this month. But you'll have to forgive the angel-voiced singer is he's looking past the season towards a very exciting 2012.
That's because Malo has reunited with the Mavericks, the acclaimed band that expanded the parameters of country music during its 14 years together before going on hiatus in 2003. If all goes according to plan, the group will hit the studio early in the new year and have the album out during the spring or early summer, with tour dates to follow.
"Three months ago this wasn't even a thought," says Malo, 46. "I never would have imagined it. Through the years people kept asking when the Mavericks were gonna get together, and I always dismissed it as jsut a few hardcore fans and didn't pay much attention to it.
"But this year some festivals wanted us to play and promoters wanted us to play some shows and it's the 20th anniversary of (the group's first album). There's so much synergy and positive energy pushing this thing forward that I think we're just gonna run with it."
Malo, who will be producing the album, says that he already has "a handful of songs that sound like a Mavericks record," while more will likely be added to the mix by the time the group convenes to make it.
"I think time has made us all more agreeable," he says. "I don't know what the motivation is other than it just feel right. It was nice to have a break, and now we're a little older and a little wiser, so we can run it as hard as we want and do as much as we want, or as little as we want.
"It's us controlling it this time around, which makes it far more appealing."
Raul Malo performs at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $40. Call 734-761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.