Live On The Bridge

S1 E22 | FULL EPISODE

The Mavericks

A non-traditional band from Miami, Florida with Americana and Latin influence, The Mavericks, perform at The Bridge three songs off of their new album 'Brand New Day' and are interviewed by Jon Hart.

AIRED: September 16, 2017 | 0:26:40
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

(amp buzzing)

(upbeat horn music)

- Tonight, tomorrow night, out at Knuckleheads,

The Mavericks, they're in the hallway.

Down the hall in Studio A with Jon Hart

live, right here on The Bridge.

- I am absolutely in heaven today,

we've got The Mavericks in the studio.

They're gonna be playing tonight

and tomorrow night at Knuckleheads,

you can find out more at TheMavericksBand.com.

And the new album is Brand New Day.

Raul, thanks for you and the guys coming in today.

- Thank you, thank you for having us, man.

It's always great to be in Kansas City.

- It is a home away from home for you, right?

- Yeah, yeah we love it.

It's probably one of our favorite cities,

partly 'cause of, just the history of the city,

the music that's come from here,

that's been through here, that is part of landscape.

It's been immortalized in so many songs and so it's cool,

it's cool, it's always great to be here.

- And it's also, Knuckleheads is just that club

that lets you get right up close to the audience,

and the performances there,

it feels like the audience is a part of the show too.

- Yeah, the audience is part of the show,

the trains are part of the show.

(laughing)

Everything's part of the show there,

and it's funny 'cause it's such a hard place

to describe to anybody, you just have to go.

'Cause honestly if you try to describe it,

it sounds like a nightmare, you know?

(laughing)

It's like, well it's in this really awful part of town,

there's a rock quarry and there's trains

and there's a crappy little gas station

right around the corner, but it's not like that at all,

it's fantastic, it's absolutely brilliant.

- Well when you drive through the East Bottoms,

it does give off that vibe that

you could go down there to be murdered.

But I often tell people that for you to be murdered,

there would have to be somebody else here.

(laughing)

There just isn't anybody in the East Bottoms.

- That's right, that's right,

except a bunch of partiers at Knuckleheads.

- Yeah, absolutely.

And I think that that really speaks to one of

the things that I just wanted to say right up front,

life on the road isn't easy.

You've got an eight piece band here,

you've got to haul the equipment in,

haul the equipment out, and to do it with a radio station

on the day when you're also doing a show

is an act of artistic generosity

that we really, deeply appreciate.

- Our pleasure. - But it goes beyond

that with The Mavericks, it's like a lot of times bands

are just sort of slogging through it all,

but somehow or other, this is a band

that manages to hold onto the joy.

- Well I think we try.

And I think this is part of what we do,

it's part of getting people to find out about The Mavericks,

and also come and support your local station,

you guys play a crucial role in our lives.

And so we leave here and this town,

but you're promoting music, you're promoting artists,

you're promoting artists like us,

so I think it's the least that we can do to come by,

whenever we can, whenever it's possible.

- We sure appreciate it. - Come by and visit.

- Talking about promoting, before you started your own label

you were on the-- - I was nobody.

I was nobody. (laughing)

- You were on the label that brought us Taylor Swift.

- That's right, that's right.

- And I think that you all figured out

that maybe you needed to build something

that's more Maverick-centric.

- There's many reasons as to why we did it.

Obviously there's business reasons for doing that as well.

And for a band like us, everything about the way

we conduct our business and how we tour

and how we make records,

nothing is ever how it's supposed to be.

So why should the business side

of it be how it's supposed to be?

- We'd love to hear some music if we could.

- Sure.

("Damned (If You Do)" by The Mavericks)

♪ Your heart tells you yes

♪ But your mind tells you no

♪ You can't seem to find

♪ What way you want to go

♪ The moment before

♪ You let yourself go

♪ You'll laugh just to think

♪ You'll do it even though

♪ You're damned if you do

♪ And damned if you don't

♪ Damned if you will

♪ And damned if you won't

♪ And sure as you are

♪ Of lessons you've learned

♪ Decisions you've made

♪ Will all be overturned

♪ But life all alone

♪ Is a life unfulfilled

♪ You may not miss the hurt

♪ But you sure do miss the thrills

♪ You're damned if you do

♪ And damned if you don't

♪ Damned if you will

♪ And damned if you won't

♪ You're damned if you do

♪ And damned if you don't

♪ Damned if you will

♪ And damned if you won't

♪ You're damned if you do

♪ And damned if you don't

♪ Damned if you will

♪ And damned if you won't

- This is a band that took about eight years off

and then got back together last five years,

and y'all have never been playing better, right?

I mean, this is--

- (laughing) Yeah, I agree.

(laughing)

- I mean you come here for praise.

(laughing)

You know you're gonna get it.

- Yeah.

Well thank you for saying that.

I think the band is probably far more

interesting now than we've ever been.

- One of the things you did pretty recently

was go down to Cuba to work on a PBS show

that I believe is tentatively scheduled for September.

- I think so.

- Havana Time Machine.

- Yeah, yeah, Havana Time--

- You hadn't been to Cuba since you were 13.

- This was quite a trip.

Eye opening, life changing in some ways.

But beautiful, it was a really special time,

a special week spent over there.

- So your parents left following

or around the time that Castro took over.

- [Raul] Yeah.

- So I'm assuming you might have had some family down there.

- Well, I do, there's still, there's a cousin down there,

most of the older ones have already passed.

But I think we forget that the embargo's

been going on now for 60 years.

- Wow. - Just about.

That's a long time.

- Yeah, pretty amazing.

So this PBS show that you've got coming in the fall,

there's music attached to it,

and so you're playing with people like--

- Yeah, it's a music documentary,

and we got to go and play with local musicians.

One is a Cuban rock band that are just brilliant.

They're really great, great songs, great melodies.

And then we also got to play some music

with some more famous friends down there like Eliades Ochoa

who's part of the Buena Vista Social Club,

and I've known him for years, and we got to jam with him,

and a great piano player down there

with his band named Roberto Fonseca,

is an unbelievable, young jazz player down there.

The music that's down there, when that embargo gets lifted,

and it's only a matter of time,

and that music gets unleashed unto the world,

it's gonna be something.

- Passions run high in the Cuban American community.

- No.

- [Jon] Yeah.

- No. (laughing)

About this-- - It's a myth.

- About the travel ban

and I would imagine that getting off the plane,

was that an emotional moment for you?

- Yeah, sure, all of it was.

The whole darn trip was.

There's so many, you're there to do a job,

you're there to host this PBS show

and you're driving around in a beautiful '55 Buick

and what's going through your mind is like

your grandfather telling you stories

of him taking the family out in the convertible

on a Saturday night to go get ice cream or whatever.

Down the same streets that I was driving down.

And so you're trying to not think about that and of course,

that would normally be a lovely memory for any one of us,

but the fact that that never happened,

I never got to ride around in a convertible

with my granddad over there because of, for obvious reasons.

So yeah, emotions run high.

Certainly families have been devastated and uprooted

and all that and when that happens,

those are strong feelings that are gonna come forth,

but the fact remains that the embargo needs to go.

It's archaic, it's way past its time,

and I think enough is enough to keep the people

suffering over there, it's time for it to go.

- My sense of the program is that

the suffering comes from politics.

- Well of course. - But the experience

that you have with people is quite joyful.

- They find joy where there is none.

And politics is the game of the rich and the powerful,

and never has that been more obvious than there.

- Love to hear another song if we could.

- Sure.

("Easy As It Seems" by The Mavericks)

♪ Things are getting crazy, I beg to understand

♪ The more I think I know, the more I know I can't

♪ So tell me what the point is with everything you say

♪ Nowhere near the truth almighty a bunch of nothing said

♪ Well do you want to get mean

♪ Do you want to get cruel

♪ Do you think it's wise

♪ To play the fool

♪ Bah bah bah bah bah bah

♪ Bah bah bah bah bah bah

♪ Bah bah bah bah bah bah

♪ Bah bah bah bah bah bah

♪ Take a look around you, it's easy not to see

♪ Building walls between us doesn't fix a thing

♪ Ignorance is blinding, they tell you that it's bliss

♪ They've been saying that for ages, will you answer this

♪ So do you want to get mean

♪ Do you want to get cruel

♪ Do you think it's wise

♪ To play the fool

♪ Do you want to get real

♪ Do you want to have dreams

♪ Nothing more than this

♪ Easy as it seems

♪ Bah bah bah bah bah bah

♪ Bah bah bah bah bah bah

♪ Bah bah bah bah bah bah

♪ Bah bah bah bah bah bah

♪ Bah bah bah bah bah bah

♪ Bah bah bah bah bah bah

♪ Bah bah bah bah bah bah

♪ Bah bah bah bah bah bah

- You know, we talked a little bit

about the immigration thing and we don't need

to talk about it very much more.

But you did write an op ed in Rolling Stone

comparing the travel ban that seemed to affect countries

that were predominantly Muslim against what was done

with Cuban Americans in the '80s.

And some of that thing that's clearly in your heart

has translated over into some of the music on the album,

but you slide it into songs that we all dance to.

- (laughing) Well, sure.

It's like getting kids to eat their veggies.

(laughing)

- You can't eat broccoli without the cheese sauce?

- Yeah, you gotta like, yeah, exactly.

You gotta trick 'em a little bit.

- Easy As It Seems is a song that basically

speaks to the fact that whatever,

you want civil discourse, and more of it.

- After the election, you heard so much,

you heard from friends,

and I've got friends that I don't agree with politically,

but we're still friends.

I would never not be friends with them because of that.

So I think that a good healthy exchange between people,

there's nothing wrong with that.

If you don't have uncomfortable conversations,

how are you gonna get to know them?

How are you gonna get to know that that person

who does not agree with you is another human being?

Maybe even a family member or your sister or your aunt,

and it doesn't have to be just about politics.

It could be finding out your kids are gay or whatever.

Or they bring over a friend

from another religion that you've never met,

and how are you not gonna have conversations with them?

To me, we don't have enough of that.

- Seems like your dad was a pretty stoic guy.

Conversations really centered

around either politics or baseball.

- Pretty much.

That's pretty much an adult Cuban male right there.

(laughing)

- You wrote a song about him 'cause

you knew that you were losing him.

- Yeah, yeah, and it was,

we were coming around to the end and there was,

it was beautiful really because he was,

we never got into deep stuff of like,

oh you know, what if we'd done this,

he had no regrets, which I loved.

And he led a pretty full life.

- [Jon] It just seems like so often when somebody passes,

there's some sort of odd karmic coincidence that happens

and you were recording this song when your father died.

- Yeah, this was amazing.

The day that we were in the studio,

and normally the procedure or the protocol

is to record ballads in the morning,

and that makes sense, 'cause you're fresh,

and you're not, at the end of the day,

if you play a ballad, could be a little more like a dirge,

and you don't want that, you know?

So you try to record them in the morning.

But we were in the middle of the week

and we were coming around to the end and my mom

had just gone to, made arrangements at the funeral home,

and she came by the studio, she said,

you might want to come by the house this afternoon.

And so at that point I knew that we were there.

So I was like hey, and nobody knew what the song was about,

I only knew what it was about.

And I said to everybody, I said hey, let's record this now,

because I know that I may not be able to record this later,

or tomorrow, or get through it even,

knowing that he had already passed.

So we went in and I showed everybody the song real quick

and we did a, we went in and recorded it

and as we're recording it,

everyone's cell phones are going off.

Mine aren't, I had mine off.

But everyone's, I could see that.

And so we get done with the song

and I'm pretty much done at that point.

You can hear my voice crack at the end a little bit,

like I don't hold the note as long.

And it turns out that at that moment

that I was singing the song, my mom was,

or my wife and my mom were calling everybody

to let us know that my dad had just passed.

And it was an amazing moment.

Truly one that we could,

you've never been a part of anything like that,

but it makes you believe in something.

- Thanks for sharing that, I really appreciate that

a great deal. - Sure.

- I think that the song is gonna be deeper and richer

for everybody having heard that story,

so I appreciate that. - Yeah, sure, sure.

- On a much lighter note.

- Thank God.

- Yeah. (laughing)

Rolling Along, first song with a banjo,

what the hell are you thinking?

- We weren't.

(laughing) We weren't.

But yeah, you know, it just seemed like the right song

and the right place to put a banjo on it.

- Well, I actually love the fact that you did that.

- Yeah, well thank you.

So do some banjo players. (laughing)

- Our guests today are The Mavericks,

you can catch them tonight

and tomorrow night at Knuckleheads.

You can find out more at TheMavericksBand.com.

Couple of really recent great records out,

All Night Live, and then the more recent

Brand New Day, the new studio album.

We'd love to hear one more song if we could.

- Sure.

One, two, three.

("I Wish You Well" by The Mavericks)

♪ This is where the road divides

♪ This is where we have to say goodbye

♪ Say goodbye

♪ After all that we've been through

♪ How I wish for more than this to say to you

♪ This to say to you

♪ Here's to all the good times

♪ That we've ever known

♪ To the memories

♪ Yours and mine alone

♪ Now you lie before me

♪ Like a star that fell

♪ Oh, I wish you well

♪ Oh, I wish you well

♪ Here's to all the good times

♪ That we've ever known

♪ To the memories

♪ Yours and mine alone

♪ Now you lie before me

♪ Like a star that fell

♪ Oh, I wish you well

♪ Oh, I wish you well

(audience applauding)

- I just love you.

(laughing)

Just love you. - Thank you.

- And I love the whole band.

(laughing)

- But he loves me more, guys, loves me more.

(laughing)

- I have love for everyone.

(laughing)

I channel a lot of it through you,

I hope everybody feels it.

- Wah!

- That was just fabulous and so kind of you to do that song.

- [Raul] Sure, thank you.

- Having been to see The Mavericks multiple times

at Knuckleheads, it's Kansas City's best party.

- [Raul] Thank you guys, thank you.

(audience applauding)

- [Jon] The Mavericks, The Mavericks, live on The Bridge.

- Thanks for watching.

You can find the full session

on our YouTube page, 909thebridge.

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- Thanks guys. (crowd cheering)

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