The Mavericks Host a Garden Party at Humphrey’s By The Bay

One of the foolproof artists recently proved their mettle at one of the foolproof San Diego venues; yes The Mavericks returned to Humphrey’s.

With a general admission set up, folks were free to find their preferred spot to enjoy the show, which lead singer Raul Malo noted was their most attended show at Humphrey’s to date.

With clever lighting across the back of the stage and the drummer perched about six feet up on stage right, the band played a lengthy set of old and new favorites. Many tracks from the new album Brand New Day (which not surprisingly attained #1 on the Americana charts) were interspersed with classics like “Dance the Night Away,” “Here Comes My Baby” and “What a Crying Shame.” In a week of Tom Petty tribute songs, the band dug deep into the former Floridian’s song book to assay “You Don’t Know How it Feels.” Hope springs eternal that Maul will revisit his achingly beautiful rendition of “Feels Like Home,” one of Randy Newman’s rare love songs (which therefore became a song my wife and I chose at our wedding).

The Mavericks – Humphrey’s, October 2017 (photo by Brad Auerbach)

The band is somewhat hamstrung by their strength: an eclectic excellence across genres. The band moves fluidly across seemingly disparate genres: Tex-Mex, Cuban bolero, R&B, blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll. Malo’s rich voice stretches across myriad octaves, echoing Roy Orbison. The new album is the first on the band’s own label Mono Mundo Recordings.

Raul Malo during one of several solo spots – Humphrey’s, October 2017 (photo by Brad Auerbach)

In addition to Malo’s towering and masterful vocals, the band is enriched by the engine room of Paul Deakin on drums. Both musicians formed the band 25 years ago. Keyboard flourishes are proffered by Jerry Dale McFadden and sizzling guitar licks by Eddie Perez. Tasty brass adds rich tones. The resulting Bakersfield-meets-Havana musical stew is addictive.

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.