On Wednesday night I got to see a band that is dearly connected to some of my oldest memories, for the third year in a row. That band is The Mavericks, and I’m not going to stop seeing them until they agree to play at my wedding (whenever that may be). The back story to the Mavericks is…
When I was growing up, my family went on yearly ski vacations to Colorado, and each time we went we would rent a car in Denver and spend an afternoon driving out to the mountains. I still remember the assortment of CDs that my dad would select so that we would not be without good music while driving through the Rockies. Alan Parsons, Dire Straits, The Eagles, John Denver, and The Mavericks, those were our essentials. As I took in the mountainous Colorado landscape as a fearless skiing 5 year old (looking forward to racing my dad down a black diamond the next day, to be sure), these songs played in the background.
Two years ago, when I had been in Chicago for just about a year and a half, I was going through a rough patch. Determined to turn a gloomy day around, I signed up for a yoga class I had never been to (I hadn’t even been doing yoga), and showed up with no idea of what to expect. I thoroughly enjoyed the class – enough to take up yoga on a regular basis for a while – but what really stuck with me was a song that I couldn’t get out of my head. It sounded like a Roy Orbison song, and I googled the only words I could remember “There is nothing that anyone can say to me.” Google told me I was looking for the lyrics to a song called “Come Unto Me” by a band called The Mavericks. It didn’t ring a bell, but I pressed play, and sure enough that was it.
I couldn’t get enough of the song, and started to listen to the whole album on Spotify, when it dawned on me that The Mavericks was a name I had heard before, albeit not in a while. Little by little, it all came back. The image of the CD cover – a man on a ladder pouring water on a woman holding an umbrella. The mountains, the rental cars, Raul Malo’s voice, “Here Comes the Rain” – all of it. I scrolled down to The Mavericks’ oldest work, and there it was – Music For All Occasions.
I excitedly called my dad, “You’ll never guess – do you remember The Mavericks? They have a new album!” It turned out my dad was already aware, and going to see them in Minneapolis on their upcoming tour. This kind of thing tends to happen with us.
As the days passed and I covered their new and old music on Spotify, I was surprised to find there was a whole middle section I had missed – two albums before Music For All Occasions, 1 studio album, 1 live album and 3 Best Of albums after MFAO, and before In Time. It’s funny to think that while I was growing up and discovering my own tastes in music, The Mavericks were doing some growing up too, and like all things meant to be, we crossed paths when the time was right. Me, as a 23 year old finding her way in the world, and the Mavs, taking new risks with their sound, and playing with different genres in each new album they released.
Now we are both 25, a quarter of a century old. A lot has happened since those days spent in Colorado, but those songs still bring me back to the wide-eyed but fearless little girl I once was, and still am. I am assured that she is still there when I hear these songs, and get immersed in the world they create just as they did when I was 5. It’s a memory that I will hold onto for a long time.