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Mavericks on fire with reunion tour, new album

The Mavericks Album Release Concert for In Time

The Mavericks Album Release Concert for In Time

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♦ 8 p.m. April 4

♦ Park West, 322 W. Armitage

♦ Tickets, $30

♦ (773) 929-1322;

Updated: May 1, 2013 1:58PM

It was 2004, and the Mavericks were tired of the music industry and tired of one another. Lead singer Raul Malo went one way to pursue a solo career. Musician Robert Reynolds went the other way to form a super group of 1980’s talents. And drummer Paul Deakin — well, he stayed right where he was, anxious to pursue a dream that had nothing to do with music.

“It had been an incredible ride, but I soon realized that I had spent a lot of time in hotel rooms being unproductive,” laughs Deakin. “I had always wanted to be a carpenter, so I spent a year ordering all of these tools and eventually learned the trade and went into business.”

Life as a Grammy Award-winning carpenter in Nashville, Tenn., was going along just fine until the phone rang and Malo was on the other line.

“I personally was banking on the idea that some day we would do a reunion tour, but never once did I think we would make another record,” says Deakin, minutes before another sold-out show for the recently reunited, genre-defying band. “The three of us met to talk about getting a tour together and came out with the realization that we were going to put out a record of new material.”

And while history has shown that within the musical stratosphere, destiny allows for very few bands to actually achieve success, disband and then come back to achieve success again, the Mavericks are indeed back. Twenty years after their first major label release, they have their first album in almost a decade (“In Time”), their first tour in eight years and their shared brotherhood renewed.

“Raul was determined not to make the recording of the album some big production,” says Deakin. “He wanted things to happen organically in the studio, which was a ballsy move as a producer since we hadn’t played together in eight years. We went into that first weekend hoping to get two songs. We walked out with nine.”

“The paperwork wasn’t even signed,” chuckles Reynolds, who soon after officially signed with Nashville hit-maker The Valory Music Co. “From the very first downbeat in the studio, it just felt right. What came out that weekend was like a backlog of emotion and music. It was like opening Pandora’s Box.”

With an April 4 tour stop scheduled in Chicago at the Park West, the Mavericks now find themselves back in the arms again of the fans who never gave up on them and a music industry that looks a bit different from the one they left.

“You don’t have to be so genre-specific anymore,” says Deakin, who also performs alongside Mavericks band members Eddie Perez and Jerry Dale McFadden. “I look at a group today like the Zac Brown Band, who seemingly snuck in the back door of country like we did in the ’90s. It’s a good time for us. You look at acts like Mumford and Sons and Bruno Mars and these cats are blurring the line of genres like never before.”

“I think when we started we were always a bit out of step from the mainstream,” adds Reynolds. “Now, we don’t have to be a country band per se and we don’t have to worry about where we fit in at the record bins anymore. This time, we are not defined by what is going on around us, but more about what is going on in us.”

And inside, something that has never changed is the band’s love for their Chicago fan base.

“The fans are at the core of it all,” gushes Reynolds, apologizing for sounding the slight bit sappy. “I don’t think the audience realizes how important they are. They deserve the credit for getting us back together.”

Tricia Despres is a local free-lance writer.

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