Raul Malo Signs With Fantasy, Readies 'lucky One'
Raul Malo's Fantasy Records label debut album, Lucky One, finds him fully shedding his musical shackles. "I have been fighting my whole life against people who want to pigeonhole music. I feel like I've got no restrictions anymore." Malo is known for his work as the frontman of the Grammy Award-winning, globally platinum- and gold-certified band the Mavericks. Following two albums of covers, Lucky One is Malo's first album original material in seven years. The CD will hit the streets on March 3rd, fronted by the lead single "Hello Again."
Malo has earned much critical respect over the years. USA Today applauded "a voice that seems to have no limits of range or versatility." The New York Times said, "Malo has an exceptional voice, a burnished tenor that harks back to Roy Orbison and the great Cuban singer Beny Moré." Rolling Stone added, "Raul Malo has a voice on par with the best of 'em: Sinatra, George Jones and Orbison." And The Wall Street Journal opined: "Malo's superb voice is big and melodic with a natural vibrato. Exquisite."
Malo wrote Lucky One over a two-year period at his Nashville home and was so happy with the results that several of his home demos appear as final versions on the CD. For the balance of the album, he once again enlisted Steve Berlin, best known for his work with Los Lobos and who worked on Malo's 2001 Today album, as co-producer. "I trust Steve musically, " Malo says. "Art comes first with him. That's the most important quality of all. Nothing gets in the way of that."
Lucky One follows You're Only Lonely and After Hours, two CDs of cover songs written by Malo's favorite tunesmiths including Kris Kristofferson, Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson and Roger Miller.
"How could that not influence my songwriting on Lucky One?" Malo asks. "It certainly had an effect on how I wrote for this. There's an appreciation for song structure, melody and lyric that these guys certainly had."
Songs on Lucky One range from the upbeat "Moonlight Kisses, " to songs like "One More Angel" and "Rosalie, " which take on mortality and the loss of life. "Hello Again" is a deceptively upbeat, swinging tale of heartbreak, and the closing track "So Beautiful" is an ultimately uplifting benediction influenced by events in and outside Malo's home.
While fans wait the March 3 release of Lucky One, Malo will travel to several cities in December to preview the songs live, perform solo and Mavericks classics while sprinkling in some holiday cheer.
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