The Mavericks, the Tex-Mex-meets-country music group behind hits such as “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” and “O What A Thrill,” return to the Great New York State Fair for the first time in more than 20 years when they perform at 2 p.m. Wednesday, August 28 as part of the Chevrolet Music Festival at Chevy Court. The show is free with Fair admission and occurs on the third Senior Day, which features free admission for people age 60 and above. Concerts at Chevy Court are sponsored by Chevrolet and are free with admission to the Fair.
It took the band a couple of albums to find their commercial footing, but in 1994 they launched a bona fide hit with their third collection, the #6 country album “What a Crying Shame.” The set’s title number, which climbed to #25 on the country charts and remained on the charts for six months, was the first of many early hits penned by lead singer Raul Malo and his frequent writing partner Kostas, and was the first of four singles to reach the country top 30 in 1994-95. It was succeeded by “O What a Thrill” (#18), “There Goes my Heart” (#20), and “I Should Have Been True” (#30).
In 1995, their fourth full-length release, “Music For All Occasions,” (#9 on the country album charts) solidified The Mavericks’ status as both sales luminaries and artistic boundary-pushers. The country ballad “Here Comes The Rain,” another Malo/Kostas composition, garnered the band a Grammy award for best country performance (while the album drew a nomination as best country album). That hit was succeeded by the band’s top-charting single, the #13 country hit “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” a romping Tex-Mex collaboration with accordionist Flaco Jimenez.
Another top-10 U.S. country album, “Trampoline,” followed in 1998; the U.K. single “Dance The Night Away,” reached #4, spent eight weeks in the top 10, and went multi-platinum there. However, despite continuing success at radio, on the road, and in the press, The Mavericks succumbed to internal pressures and disbanded in early 2004. However, while the group would be sundered for nearly a decade, they reunited to triumphantly perform festival dates and record again in 2012. Malo said the regrouping sprang from his then-current writing, calling it “a perfect storm scenario.”
The core of The Mavericks remains in force to this day, comprising Malo; founding drummer Paul Deakin; keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden, who had signed on in 1994; and lead guitarist Eddie Perez, who had followed a short stint with the group in 2003 with several years in Dwight Yoakam’s band. (Founding bassist Robert Reynolds exited in 2014.) Their sound would be filled out by the versatile, brawny auxiliary unit the Fantastic Five (previously the Fantastic Four).
Signed to Valory Music Company (a subsidiary of Big Machine Records), The Mavericks reinstated themselves in the top 10 of the U.S. country album charts with 2013’s “In Time,” a musically restless collection that garnered immediate and universal praise. With their 30th anniversary in 2019, The Mavericks abide as an American musical treasure, with an all-encompassing sound that’s as deep, rousing, and entertaining as it is stubbornly impossible to pin down.