The Mavericks are celebrating 30 years since their formation as a band. Bacon dates back centuries. On Saturday, the two entities come together, when the Americana/Latin/roots/country rockersThe Mavericks headline BaconFest, at Elmwood Park.
Guitarist Eddie Perez loves the band so much that he rejoined it in 2012 after about eight years of a group hiatus. When a reporter mentioned the nature of the Roanoke gig during a recent interview, Perez’s excitement rose a notch.
“Oh my god, I could eat bacon every moment of the day,” Perez said. “I’m thinking, wow, am I going to go to this festival and have time to go and get some bacon? ... I didn’t know [what type of event] we were doing, but now that you’ve said it, I’m quite excited. Another thing to look forward to in my adventurous life.
“Every time I get a chance to go up onstage and experience that with these guys, I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. The fans are a big part of that. And on top of that, you’ve got bacon, too? What’s not going to be good about this night? It sounds like it’s gonna be a great night!”
The Mavericks, from Nashville, Tennessee, via Miami, made their name in country music circles with such songs as “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” and the Grammy Award-wining “Here Comes The Rain.” The band had critical and commercial success after reuniting, with the 2013 album “In Time,” and has become a traveling musical party in the years since. Powerful singer and adventurous songwriter Raul Malo fronts a nine-piece band that includes two trumpeters and an accordionist. Drummer Paul Deakin is the sole remaining original member, though keyboardist Jerry Dale McFadden has been in the lineup for about 17 years.
Los Angeles native Perez, who had joined the group in 2003, was disappointed when The Mavericks drifted apart, but he was not short on work. Perez’s father came from Bakersfield, California, and bonded with him in part over Buck Owens’ music. Dad was thrilled to see son tour and record with Dwight Yoakam for seven years after The Mavericks‘ split. Perez took part in Yoakam’s 2007 album “Dwight Sings Buck,” another career highlight. Perez also worked with Wynonna Judd and Lee Ann Womack in the interim. But when the band decided to get back together, he was all in.
“I think where we are as band mates and musical brothers in all of this, this is the most fun this experience has ever been for me,” Perez said. “I think it does transcend. I think that is what the audience picks up on.”
As noted above, a lot of slashes go into labeling The Mavericks. It can be hard to explain the band to people, and Perez has stopped trying to put it into a category. He said that when asked, he replies, “we make joyous music, and I leave it at that.”