Raul Malo & The Mavericks to Receive Trailblazer Award at This Year’s Americana Honors & Awards

Raul Malo and The Mavericks are officially trailblazers

The 56-year-old Cuban American singer, songwriter, guitarist and record producer and his fellow The Mavericks band mates will be honored with the Trailblazer Award, as part of the lifetime achievement awards at the upcoming 20th annual Americana Honors & Awards show on September 22 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

The Mavericks

The Mavericks join a roster of honorees that includes Keb’ Mo’, the Fisk Jubilee SingersTrina Shoemaker and Carla Thomas.

Keb’ Mo’ will be honored with the Performance Award, the Fisk Jubilee Singers with the Legacy Award (which will be co-presented by the National Museum of African American Music), Shoemaker with the Producer-Engineer Honor and Thomas with the Inspiration Award.

The Honors & Awards ceremony serves as the highlight of the Americana Music Association‘s annual AMERICANAFEST, which will take place Sept. 22-25 in Nashville.

The Mavericks formed in Miami in 1989. In the 1990s they earned Top 20 hits on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart, including “O What a Thrill” (peaked at No. 18), “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” with Flaco Jimenez (No. 13) and “There Goes My Heart” (No. 20). In 2000, the group went on hiatus and lead singer Raul Malo released a series of solo albums. The group reunited in the 2010s and last year, they released their first all-Spanish language album.

Singing group the Fisk Jubilee Singers, of Fisk University, were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2000 and were awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2008. The original Fisk Jubilee Singers formed in 1871. Their music broke racial barriers both in the United States and abroad, while helping the group raise money for the school.

Since Kevin Roosevelt Moore launched his career in the early 1990s (and was rechristened Keb’ Mo’ around 1994), he’s earned five Grammy honors. In 1994, he released his self-titled debut project, which contained “Come on in My Kitchen” and “Kindhearted Woman Blues,” both covers of songs from blues icon Robert Johnson. Keb’ Mo’ has since performed everywhere from Sessions at West 54th to the Crossroads Festival to the White House. His 2019 album, Oklahoma, earned the best Americana album honor at last year’s Grammy Awards.

Illinois native Shoemaker aspired to become a record producer, first working in Los Angeles and London before moving to New Orleans. Shoemaker was noticed by producer Daniel Lanois, who made her a tape op and then a full engineer. She worked on projects for Iggy Pop, Giant Sand and on Emmylou Harris‘ Wrecking Ball. Then she began working with Sheryl Crow on Crow’s self-titled album and subsequent The Globe Sessions album, which earned Shoemaker her first Grammy honors, including a trophy for her engineering. Shoemaker has recorded, produced and/or mixed for artists including Whiskeytown, Matthew Ryan, and Josh Ritter, as well as more recent work on The Secret Sisters‘ You Don’t Own Me Anymore and Tanya Tucker‘s While I’m Livin’. Shoemaker is also the first woman to win the Americana producer/engineer lifetime award.

Thomas made a string of recordings for Stax and Atlantic Records in the 1960s, incorporating soul, country and gospel. The daughter of DJ, singer and performer Rufus Thomas, she began singing as a child, joining WDIA‘s Teen Town Singers at age 10. She earned an early pop and R&B hit “Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes).” Thomas appeared on American Bandstand and recorded an album filled with duets with Otis Redding months before he died in 1967. In 1993, the Rhythm & Blues Foundation honored Thomas with its exclusive pioneer award. The inspiration award has only been granted once before, to fellow Stax/Atlantic recording artist Mavis Staples.

“We are beyond humbled to recognize this group of artists with our highest awards,” said Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association. “All of these artists have transformed the way we listen and experience music and have helped to build a perennial foundation for Americana music to prosper as an art form today. Our community looks forward to welcoming them with open arms on our biggest night of the year in September.”

The Mavericks Release First-Ever Spanish Language Album, “En Español”

The Mavericks are switching tongues…

The Grammy-winning country band that blends Tex-Mex, neo-traditional country music, Latin and rockabilly influences has released its first-ever Spanish language album, En Español.

The Mavericks

The new album by The Mavericks, comprised of Raul Malo,Eddie PerezJerry Dale McFadden and Paul Deakin, sees original member and lead singer Melo embrace his Latin roots.

En Español features a collection of their own Spanish language originals, as well as classic Latin tracks from which they drew inspiration.

“Even if you’re not fluent in Spanish, the rhythms, phrasing, and melodies are universal,” says the band of the 12-track album. “[It’s] a vibrant, sit-up-and-take-notice album… with mighty musicianship to get you out of your seat.”

Here’s a look at the track list:

En Español

  1. La Sitiera – Writer: Rafael López González
  2. Recuerdos – Writers: Raul Malo, Alejandro Menéndez Vega
  3. No Vale La Pena – Writer: Alberto Aguilera Valadez
  4. Poder Vivir – Writers: Raul Malo, Alejandro Menéndez Vega
  5. Sombras Nada Maìs – Writers: José María Contursí, Francisco J. Lomuto
  6. Mujer – Writer: Raul Malo
  7. Me Olvideì De Vivir – Writers: Pierre Abel Billon, Julio Iglesias, Jacques Able Jules Revaud
  8. Pensando En Ti – Writers: Raul Malo, Cynthia Susana Medina
  9. Sabor A Miì – Writers: Alvaro Carrillo Alarcón
  10. Suspiro Azul – Writers: Raul Malo, Alejandro Menéndez Vega, Lisset Diaz Guevara, Miguel Comas
  11. Cuando Me Enamoro – Writers: Mario Panzeri, Daniele Pace, Roberto Livraghi
  12. Me Voy A Pinar Del Riìo – Writers: Néstor Manuel Pinelo Cruz


Additionally, The Mavericks are launching their first-ever pay-per-view web concert series, The Mavericks Show, in partnership with NUGS.TV, beginning on Saturday, August 22.

Raul Malo & The Mavericks Cover Freddy Fender’s Classic “Before the Next Teardrop Falls”

Raul Malo is celebrating his band’s anniversary with the help of a Latino country music legend…

The 54-year-old Cuban American country singer/guitarist and his The Mavericks mates have covered Freddy Fender’s iconic “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” for their next album.

Raul Malo & The Mavericks

The band recorded the late singer’s song because the track holds special meaning to frontman Malo.

“When I was a kid, that song meant a lot to me, and it meant a lot to my dad,” Malo tells Billboard of the song, a platinum 1975 single for Fender, one of only a half-dozen songs that year to top both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot Country Singlescharts. 

“We would be driving around Miami listening to it, and I remember it being a really proud moment whenever it was played. Even though my family’s Cuban and Freddy’s Mexican, just the fact there was a Latin male on the pop charts and on TV singing this beautiful song, it was a source of pride.”

Malo adds, “It had a verse in Spanish, and it was on the pop charts and on the country charts. You think, ‘My gosh, how does that happen?’ Of course, those are the mysteries of the music business. That’s why we love it and hate it at the same time, but [the song] was a sweet miracle, for sure.”

Malo says “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” will be part of a covers set due out this fall, likely late October or early November, that commemorates the Mavericks’ 30th anniversary, which the group has been touring to celebrate all year. The genre-hopping group has already released a rendition of John Anderson‘s “Swingin‘,” and Malo says the rest of the album will feature “a collection of songs that have meant something to us — there are some classic country music songs in there, obviously, and there’s a few surprises thrown in there for good measure.”

The group is continuing to play live and celebrate an eclectic, idiosyncratic career that began with three straight top 10 country albums and a Grammy Award, as well as a resumption in 2012 — following an eight-year hiatus — that’s  brought four more albums and the launch of the group’s own Mono Mundo Recordings label in 2017.

“I feel like an old vampire that has all this wisdom, but I’m still in the game and it’s been an amazing ride,” Malo says. “The Mavericks have been counted out, almost sort of the outsider. That’s been frustrating, but I realized a while ago it’s a good place to be, and we can turn that to our advantage however we want to. I like the paths we’ve taken, and our willingness to take chances. When you live a little outside the rules and outside of the game, you can really do whatever you want. That’s what works for us and what works for our fans as well.”

Prince Royce to Give Hispanic Heritage Month Performance at White House

Prince Royce will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at the White House

The 24-year-old Dominican American singer-songwriter will join Gloria Estefan, Arturo Sandoval and other musicians to bring their Latin sounds to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next week.

Prince Royce

The latest “In Performance at the White House” program will be taped on Monday and will showcase Latin music during Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place from September 15-October 15.

In addition to Prince Royce, Estefan and Sandoval, the White House says Ricky Martin, Lila Downs, Raul Malo, Romeo Santos, Alejandro Sanz, Natalie Cole and Marco Antonio Solis also are expected to join President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, to help highlight a variety of styles of Latin music.

The first lady also will host a workshop for area students on the history of Latin music on Monday afternoon.

The entire program will be streamed live on WhiteHouse.gov on Monday. It will be also broadcast by PBS stations nationwide on October 8.