By Dave Read – The first Sunday of summer 2022 was an ideal day for a concert at Tanglewood in the Berkshires – sunny, warm, and breezy enough to fly a kite. The main attraction in the Koussevitsky Music Shed was The Mavericks, a band born on the peninsula north of Cuba in 1989, then disbanded twice before the current outfit came together, which seems to me like a reincarnation of The Band.
That’s not half as crazy as it sounds, since The Band practically gave up the ghost just down the road from Tanglewood, at The Music Inn, where they played one of their very last concerts, before staging The Last Waltz out west in 1976.
Several sub-genres of popular music are represented by The Mavericks, and co-founding frontman Raul Malo’s vocals are rich enough for his exceptional bandmates to coalesce around, and carry the audience away on a nearly three hour party cruise.
Shouldn’t it be Canadiana?
Few things bewilder me more than the fact that the group widely regarded to be the progenitors of the musical genre to which marketers apply the sticker “Americana,” was made up of one American and four Canadians! Thank goodness Garth, Richard, Rick, & Robbie found their way to the new world – to the Promised Land, where Levon was born.
Having attended a few concerts by both The Band and The Mavericks, the one area where the former probably never will be surpassed is in the variety of the band’s vocalists – but if they had to choose one to settle on, they would’ve gone with the one most like Raul Malo.
The Englishman Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets opened with a fifty minute set, which, inadvertenly, revealed the magnitude of the main act’s artistry, because, although very entertaining, it only amounted to a series a songs, while the The Mavericks ruled the universe for the balance of the afternoon via one massive soundgasm.