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Interview:
The Mavericks at the Royal Oak, 3 Things To Know
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Five years after regrouping and reactivating the band, the Mavericks remain as hard to classify as ever.

Though it established its reputation as country, well, mavericks during the early 90s, the Florida-formed troupe quickly expanded its sound beyond Nashville norms, flaunting influences from genres such as Latin, Tex-Mex, classic pop, western swing, R&B and blues. It hasn't necessarily driven the group to big record sales, but it's won plenty of critical acclaim, a Grammy Award and a devoted audience.

Since reforming in 2012 after an eight-year hiatus, the Mavericks have been prolific -- two studio albums and the new live set "All Night Live," Vol. 1, and the group has taken matters into its own hand and started its own record company (Mono Mundo) rather than relying on the music industry machine to tell its story.

The Mavericks have settled into a lineup and a groove, according to guitarist Eddie Perez, that's unlike any other point of the group's history. "I think we're just having a lot more fun these days," he says. "I think we all realize that this time around we wanted to really cherish this thing and take care of it. The band went away fro a good number of years and we all missed playing music together and the camaraderie we used to have. So the last few years have been quite an experience for all of us. This time around we've made certain efforts to harness the creative energy we've got going on and also try to approach it a little better just as friends. It's not very often a band gets to have somewhat of a second act again, so we're very aware of how special this is. We make a point of really protecting it."

Taking greater interest and control in the business side of the band is also helping group cohesion. "Now more than ever we've really gotten down into the business part of the business," says Perez, 48, who's also played with Miranda Lambert, Gary Allan, Jim Lauderdale and others. "We've taken a lot more hands-on approach with our own label and we also head a management company and a merchandising company. So we've gotten way more involved in the business, which means way more involved with each other as people. There's a lot more caring, a lot more sconsideraton than there ever has been before -- a bit more of a maturity level if I can say that."

The Mavericks aren't slowing down, either; A new studio album is mostly in the can and ready to come out hopefully next spring, according to Perez. "We feel very strongly about this next record," he says. "It's quite a step out for us. We turned up the dial a little. It's big. On our last studio album (2015's 'Mono') we stripped it all right down to one channel down the middle. For this one we're planning something of a modern-day psychedelia, if you will. It's an enjoyable record. I really feel like we've topped ourselves. We can't wait to get it out for people to hear."

The Mavericks

Sunday, Nov. 6. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St.

Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 day of show.

Call 248-399-2980 or visit royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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