Mavericks enjoy musical renaissance
Donna Isbell Walker, [email protected] 3:43 p.m. EDT May 23, 2016
The music of the Mavericks has been pegged as country, Americana and rockabilly. But guitarist Eddie Perez has a slightly less musical, but perhaps more savory, way to describe it.
“I think it’s like the best filet mignon you’ve ever had, that you can only get at one place in the world,” Perez said in a recent phone interview.
The music of the Mavericks is infused with a mélange of flavors, from 1940s pop standards to Latin music to down-and-dirty blues rockers like ZZ Top. But, culinary metaphors aside, Perez said the Mavericks are “a classic, roots-based American band with all the influences of that golden era of music that we love so much.”
The Mavericks, who perform Friday at the Peace Center, kicking off the summer Rock the River concert series, explore some of their inspirations on the band’s latest album “Mono.” The album’s title and sound were inspired by the monophonic sound of the pre-stereo era, and particularly the vinyl records of that era.
All of the members are “music junkies” and record collectors, Perez said, so they would get cranked up in the recording studio each day by listening to classic pop and rock records. Among the favorites were the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” album and the Phil Spector-produced single “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” recorded by the Righteous Brothers.
“We would start our day by spinning some vinyl records in the control room, just trying to get our day going and trying to vibe. Sometimes being in the studio can be a somewhat cold and isolated event, so you’ve got to try to create a vibe,” Perez said.
A theme began to emerge from all those old-school pop records, and the band decided to keep that theme going by recording the album in mono.
“As the record blossomed through this process, it started turning into a certain vibe,” Perez said. “I think on every song you can hear, there’s a cohesiveness throughout. I think we were just in a creative zone for that whole week we were in the studio.”
The creative resurgence was exciting, even more so because “Mono” is only the Mavericks’ second album after an eight-year hiatus that began in 2004. The hiatus gave the members a little time and space, and the chance to explore other music avenues. Perez spent part of the break playing guitar in country singer Dwight Yoakam’s band.
The way Perez sees it, “if to get here now, in this place that we’re at now, it took us staying away from the business as a band, and from each other in some respects as people … then to me it’s all been worth it. Because I think everything you experience along the way leads you to the point that you’re at now.”
Fans who come out to Friday’s show can expect to hear a little bit of everything: classic Mavericks tunes, cover songs, a few new tunes.
And as much as fans enjoy the show, they can bet the band is having just as much fun.
“It’s not uncommon for a fan to come to a show and spend 2 ½ hours, 2 hours and 45 minutes, and then not even feel like they were there five minutes. This is what they’ve told us. But it’s like that for us too,” he said. “So I think if anything, they can expect to have a great time, expect to have a little joy. And probably get a little sweaty, but hopefully leave energized, like they’ve had the best medicine ever.”
YOU CAN GO
Who: An Evening With the Mavericks
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: TD Stage at the Peace Center
How much: $35-$50
For more: 864-467-3000 or www.peacecenter.org