The Mavericks, one of the most independent-minded bands in the history of American music, have gone full indie, launching their own record label and announcing two new releases in the year ahead. Mono Mundo Recordings is a partnership that brings together the Mavericks, Nashville distribution and marketing innovators Thirty Tigers and the band’s trusted Ventura, Calif.-based co-producer Niko Bolas. It’s the first time since signing to MCA Records in 1991 that the Mavericks have opted out of the traditional label system.
The Mavericks, founded in Miami by Malo and drummer Paul Deakin, upended expectations in the early 1990s when their blend of Cuban grooves and Bakersfield-inspired twang hit the airwaves through the support of MCA Records and producer Tony Brown. They’ve won several CMA and ACM Awards plus a Grammy Award in 1995, charting numerous singles and albums while earning accolades as one of the finest live bands in the business.
A live album (All Night Live, Vol. 1) is set for release in October 2016, and a studio project set for spring of 2017. All this follows the Mavericks’ renewal in 2011 after a hiatus, which led to the most fruitful creative period in their career: The band came blazing back with 2013’s In Time and 2015’s Mono, earning two Grammy nominations and winning the AMA’s Americana Group/Duo of the Year award in 2015. The new label, which puts the Mavericks entirely in charge of their own artistic and business destiny, finds the veteran group as dedicated as ever to its work, its fans and its renowned live shows.
“This was a thought we had sitting on our back porch when we were having conversations about what was going to happen with the band,” says founding member and lead singer/songwriter Raul Malo. “It was always in the back of our mind to do our own label, in partnership with somebody. This is the right parties coming together at the right time.” Malo, who is regarded as one of the finest singers of his generation, adds that the move is exciting and empowering. “It feels like we can do what we want now. I’m really looking forward to this time in the Mavericks’ life.”
David Macias, president and founder of Thirty Tigers, says Mono Mundo Recordings is exactly the kind of progressive, artist-driven project that his company has specialized in for more than a decade. “We find great joy in giving artists the back end support to execute their own vision and these guys have an incredible vision both musically and on the business side,” Macias says. “There’s such craft and soul and vitality to what the Mavericks do, it’s a thrill to go fight for it.”
“They’re doing absolutely everything that they want to musically with a bunch of people that believe in them musically,” says Bolas, the band’s producer/partner, whose track record includes albums with Neil Young, Warren Zevon and LeAnn Rimes.