The Mavericks, "Brand New Day" (Mono Mundo Recordings)
The Mavericks' "Brand New Day" is skillfully paced for the dancefloor, straddling the southern American borders and shores with a spinning wheel of styles and rhythms.
Led by rhapsodic vocalist Raul Malo, the band displays its usual high standards on tunes brimming with Tex-Mex accordions, Cuban rhythms, sophisticated 1960s pop, sensitive ballads and swirling bossa nova.
Opener "Rolling Along" contains the leitmotif of the band's first album on their own independent label — "Don't fix what ain't broken" — and suggests a distraction from some of life's many difficulties that, as of press time, is legal only in a handful of states.
The title track sounds like a long-lost Motown classic produced by Phil Spector in the 1970s and if "Easy As It Seems" doesn't inspire your inner Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers, check if you still have a pulse.
"Ride With Me" combines a brochure for Tourism U.S.A. with Eddie Perez's Chuck Berryesque guitar, horn accents and Jerry Dale McFadden's swirling organ — road music customized for a cabriolet.
The Mavericks have a distinctive talent for mixing and matching, and Malo's Latino/Miami roots are a big part of his songwriting. "Wish You Well" and "Goodnight Waltz" offer a chance for intimacy on the dance parquet and Malo really lets it rip on "I Will Be Yours," a deeply romantic shuffle.
Closer "For The Ages" returns to Doug Sahm territory deep in the heart of Tex-Mex, ending with a brief singalong perfectly suited to close out the party. But don't despair, another Saturday night is just a week away again.