The Skinny: Uptown neo-trad country at its finest. Front man Raul Malo must’ve wondered what it would sound like if Roy Orbison had a neo-trad country band in the 90s.
Sounds like: Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Chris Isaak, Elvis Presley, BR-549, The Radiators, Brian Setzer, The Subdudes, Los Lonely Boys
Deeper thoughts: Love it! The Mavericks are the real deal in modern country music. Highly refined Western swing, featuring deft turnarounds. This is definitely not outlaw country. Sounds like these guys could also have been a great jazz standards combo. “My Secret Flame” makes me want to have a secret sweetheart on the side. The zydeco reel of “All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down” is sure to pick you up – and it’s their highest charting single. They should have made accordionist Flaco Jimenez a permanent member of the band. Bring me down, Flaco!
The Sonics: This is a full-bodied, organic traditional country recording that wants to fill up your whole house. It sounds good from far away and when you sneak in a bit closer it surprises you. Close up on ‘phones, you get a real sense of the microphone positioning for the sessions. Certainly not a heavy foot, but doesn’t slack off on the low end either. Lots of chimey Strat and Tele twanggg. “Here Comes the Rain” sounds noticeably different from the rest of the record. Appears they were going for a mid-90s Suzy Bogus pop-country single. This disc is much more engaging than the streamed edition.