Rolling Stone - 5/13/99, p.72
Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone - 3/10/94, p.653.5 stars
- Good Plus - "...Raul Malo hints at Roy Orbison's scary sadness...country music that kicks...it's with [the originals] that Malo hits jukebox pay dirt--songs with the deep thrust of the earliest rock & roll...."
Spin - 12/94, p.76Ranked #7
in Spin's list of the '20 Best Albums Of '94' - "...barroom honky-tonk, stretching back to pre-strings Nashville and forward only as far as the Boss..the extraordinary Raul Malo, the finest rhythm-country-and-blues singer in the land, hands down..."
Spin - 3/94, p.78
"...The real magic lies in the melodies...what does count is the way the music makes you feel...The Mavericks possess perhaps the most impressive singer in country music [Raul Malo]..."
Q - 11/94, p.1153 Stars
- Good - "...Falling on the country side of country-rock, The Mavericks are more aware of Stetsons and saddles than The Jayhawks or The Gin Blossoms, reminding the listener of a band of aggressive Dwight Yoakams..."
Village Voice (2/28/95) - Ranked #35
in the Village Voice's 1994 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
New York Times (Publisher) - 1/5/95, p.C15
Included on Neil Strauss' list of the Top 10 Albums Of '94 - "...An album that comes on like a new friend with a familiar face."
The Mavericks: Raul Malo (vocals, guitar); Nick Kane (guitar); Robert Reynolds (bass); Paul Deakin (drums).
Additional personnel: Mark Casstevens (acoustic guitar); Brent Mason (guitar); Bruce C. Bouton (steel guitar); Rob Hajacos (fiddle); Carl Gorodetzky, Pam Sixfin, Lee Larrison, Ted Madsen, Alan Umstead, Conni Ellisor (violin); Kris Wilkinson, Gary Vanosdale, Jim Grostean (viola); John Barlow Jarvis (piano, Hammond B-3 organ); Glenn Worf (acoustic bass); Robert Reynolds (bass); Stan Lynch (percussion); Trisha Yearwood, Joy White, James House, Dennis Wilson, John Wesley Ryles (background vocals).
"What A Crying Shame" was nominated for Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal in the 37th Annual Grammy Awards.
Personnel: Nick Kane (guitar); Paul Deakin (drums); Raul Malo (vocals, guitar); Robert Reynolds (electric bass); Mark Casstevens (guitar, acoustic guitar); Brent Mason (electric guitar); Bruce Bouton (steel guitar); Connie Ellisor, Ted Madsen, Carl Gorodetzky, Lee Larrison, Alan Umstead (violin); Rob Hajacos (fiddle); Kris Wilkinson, Gary VanOsdale (viola); John Jarvis (piano, organ); John Barlow Jarvis (piano); Glenn Worf (upright bass); Stan Lynch (congas, claves, tambourine, timpani); James House, John Wesley Ryles, Joy White, Trisha Yearwood, Dennis Wilson (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Mike Bradley.
Recording information: SoundShop.
Photographer: Jim Herrington.
You can wear the hat and cop the pose, but can you walk the walk and talk that talk? The Mavericks can. In a climate of empty Stetsons and canned corn, The Mavericks hearken back to a time when rock and roll and country first began to dance (were they ever really that far apart?). A time when the songs musicians sang and the lives they led were one and the same.
WHAT A CRYING SHAME is a classic that's built for the long haul. The Mavericks possess a slamming, authentic Southern rhythm section, featuring Nick Kane's tasty, idiomatic guitar, some of the classiest leads this side of James Burton. And in Raul Malo they highlight one of the most distinctive voices in all of country. Listen to "The Things You Said To Me" with its definitive Elvis/Big Joe Turner rock and roll groove, Kane's twangy chord melody solo, the hokey "Teddy Bear" rhythm hits by the chorus, and Malo's rich moans and hollers.
There's nothing nostalgic or sappy about the Mavericks' arrangement; this is music lived in and alive and timeless. Their Tex-Mex cover of Bruce Springsteen's "All That Heaven Will Allow" and the closing stomper "The Losing Side Of Me" only serve to reinforce The Mavericks' stature as a band you can go honky tonkin' with--these good old boys be dancing.
But the greatness of a country singer is most often measured on ballads, and it's here that Malo's rich, stylized vocals really shine through. "Neon Blue" is a righteous honky tonk ballad augmented by tragic steel flourishes, and check out that tremulous little throb in Malo's voice on "Pretend" ("I don't want to be a memory or a friend/Darlin' you don't have to love me/Just pretend"), as fiddle fills recall their last dance. But then every song on WHAT A CRYING SHAME has an authoritative resonance all its own, and if you find yourself thinking about the great Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley on the title tune, well, go on now.