The Mavericks threw a late-night dance party on Conan Wednesday night, giving the winter blues a much-needed sendoff with the impossibly catchy “Summertime (When I’m With You),” from the band’s latest LP, Mono.
The Latin-fused big band sound of the group, which includes members Raul Malo on vocals and guitar, Eddie Perez on guitar, drummer Paul Deakin and Jerry Dale McFadden — decked out in pink hat and suit — grooving behind his keyboard, is supplemented here by upright bass, accordion and a pair of horn players. It gives the whole performance the carefree atmosphere of a summer street carnival. Just try not to get up and dance.
Dance, is, in fact, at the heart of the Mavs, who soldiered on for their eighth studio album after weathering the dismissal of longtime member Robert Reynolds. In spite of the changing nature of group lineups, the music business or country radio — where they’ve never been a huge staple, even with their Grammy-winning status in the genre — one thing that has never changed is their devotion to their loyal, groove-centric fan base.
“If you define this band as a country band, then that’s a whole different thing,” Perez tells Rolling Stone Country. “Especially when it comes to radio. But if you define this band as a pop-dance band, which most of our fans do, that’s the common theme. When people who come to our shows can’t do their thing, which is get up out of their chairs and dance, it becomes an issue.”
“Even if they haven’t seen the band before,” adds McFadden, “they’re like, ‘I don’t know who these guys are, but there is a thing going on here.'”
The next thing on the group’s agenda: a pair of shows on March 26th and 27th at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall, before heading to the Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale on April 11th. The Mavericks’ Mono Mundo Tour continues throughout the spring and summer.