site logo

The Mavericks Biography

Last updated: 06/11/2014 09:35:42 PM

Raul Malo - Lead singer & Songwriter
Nick Kane - Guitarist
Robert Reynolds - Bassist
Paul Deakin - Drummer

This country-rock band was formed in Miami, Florida, USA, a region better known for its dance and rock music than any fondness for country. Lead singer and songwriter Raul Malo (b. 7 August 1965, Miami, Florida, USA; vocals/guitar) was born of Cuban descent. His parents' record collection was full of American roots music and rockabilly, and led to his discovery of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Bill Haley. He also grew particularly fond of the dramatic intensity of the ballads sung by Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline. However, nobody at his school shared his taste, until he came across Robert Reynolds (b. 30 April 1962, Kansas City, Missouri, USA; bass).

Reynolds was also a fan of older bands, and had previously been unable to find anyone to share his fascination with old country records. His best friend was Paul Deakin (b. 2 September 1959, Miami, Florida, USA; drums), who had played with local progressive rock bands for several years. They played the Florida rock circuit, having realized that the few country venues wanted covers bands only. They used the opportunity to set about building a set of strong original songs, steering away from too close an approximation of their heroes because, as Reynolds conceded, "it's one thing to touch the nerve of older styles, it's another to let yourself be engulfed by them".

The band independently released a 13-song album in 1990. This eventually reached the ears of the Nashville record companies, and MCA Records flew them to the country music capital for a showcase. Legend has it that the company decided to make their offer before the end of the band's soundcheck. Their debut for MCA, From Hell To Paradise, featured their new lead guitarist David Lee Holt and was a minor success. It was with 1994's What A Crying Shame that they made their breakthrough (the same year that Reynolds married country star Trisha Yearwood). The album steadily racked up sales, eventually going platinum in spring 1995.

The album was produced by Don Cook (who had also worked with Mark Collie and Brooks And Dunn) and included cover versions such as Bruce Springsteen's "All That Heaven Will Allow" and Jesse Winchester's "O What A Thrill" (a Top 20 hit when released as a single), alongside the title track and "There Goes My Heart' (both of which were also Top 40 country hits). The band replaced Holt with Nick Kane (b. 21 August 1954, Jerusalem, Georgia, USA) shortly after the album's release. In 1995, they won a CMA award and released the excellent Music For All Occasions, another bestselling and critically acclaimed album. They received a further CMA award in 1996. The band's bold genre-hopping was in further evidence on 1998"s Trampoline, with a four-piece horn section bolstering the songs. They also gained a surprise crossover UK hit with the catchy single "Dance The Night Away", which spent several weeks in the Top 20 before peaking at number 4 in May. The album also broke into the UK Top 10.