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What a Crying Shame

The Mavericks

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Album Review

The Mavericks fully hit their stride with their third album, 1994's What a Crying Shame, in which the band's blend of rootsy country and vintage pop sounds finally found the balance they'd been searching for. While producer Don Cook gave the band a significantly glossier sound than that of their first two albums, with a hefty number of guest musicians (and guest songwriters) on board, remarkably enough the Mavericks' personality wasn't subsumed in the process; if anything, the high-priced help seemed to have prodded the boys into playing at the top of their game. Raul Malo's keening tenor gets a superb workout on "I Should Have Been True" and the title cut (the latter of which boasts a guitar hook Roger McGuinn would have been proud to come up with), while "Pretend" and "There Goes My Heart" are honky tonk floor-fillers of the first order. Robert Reynolds and Paul Deakin are a rhythm section who can give these songs the nervy drive of a rock band without betraying the Mavericks' country leanings, and they give the covers of "All That Heaven Will Allow" and "O What a Thrill" a taut foundation most contemporary Nashville acts lack. Truth to tell, What a Crying Shame doesn't have a single dud track, and offers encouraging proof that it's still possible to make an engaging and idiosyncratic country album while signed to the Nashville division of a major label...and the best news is, the band managed to turn that accomplishment into a hat trick over the next few years.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Miami, FL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Fusing traditional country with traditional rock & roll, the Mavericks became one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful groups of the early '90s. Led by singer/songwriter Raul Malo (born August 7, 1965, Miami, Florida), the band was formed in Florida in the late '80s. Malo had previously played in several different bands while he was in high school, as did bassist Robert Reynolds (born Robert Earl Reynolds, April 30, 1962, Kansas City, Missouri). The pair met at school...
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What a Crying Shame, The Mavericks
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