Home Editor's Picks The Mavericks Continue to Astound and Mesmerize Fans

The Mavericks Continue to Astound and Mesmerize Fans

by Carrie Zukoski

One of the fans at Thursday night’s The Mavericks’ sold-out concert at The Pageant in St. Louis sidled up to me during a lull of snapping photos and said, “Be sure and tell everyone how underexposed this band is.” 

Will do. The Mavericks are wonderful. And fun. And bring a huge amount of energy and drive to all their shows. They’ve been doing so off and on since 1989 and saw some big successes early on. With an accordion player, a horn section, an upright bass, keys, drums, guitars, and a heavy Latin influence this is not your ordinary country band — and it’s definitely not the genre of music I would categorize them in but that’s where they mostly are. A country band that began in Miami, Florida all those years ago. Maybe they were the beginning of renegade country, to me, they cross into so many genres there’s not just one that holds them — you might even say their style is maverick. 

As they’ve never fit neatly into one mold and there are lapses in their time together which, for at least this latter part of their career means radio play has been more on the indie, smaller radio frequencies despite Grammy and CMA awards. But they’ve been selling out venue after venue on this recent tour which means the people who do know and love them and wholly support them have a little room on the floor to sway and groove to their eclectic, engaging, Tex-Mex, rock, roots, renegade sound. 

The 90-minute set included “As Long as There’s Loving Tonight,” a cover of “Blue Moon,” “Dance in the Moonlight,” and, as a nod to being in St. Louis, Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.” 

Rochester, New York’s McKinley James opened with his blues-inspired, swinging 50s-style rock, roots, and rockabilly sound making several new fans during his half-hour set. He even dressed the part with slicked-back hair, a black leather motorcycle jacket, and black jeans — if they’d been turned up at the cuff the look would have been a complete throwback. Growing up with his dad who is drummer Jason Smay of Los Straightjackets and JD McPherson Band helped shape James’ ear at an early age.  And the drummer drumming with him on stage? Yep, it’s Jason Smay. 

Find many more photos of McKinley James and The Mavericks here: https://bit.ly/Mavericks23cz

Find out what’s coming up next at The Pageant: https://www.thepageant.com/calendar/

 

 

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In my work life, I help nonprofits and small businesses with media and public relations. In my what I love to do life, you can typically find me photographing either wild horses or concerts.

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