Players - Raul Malo

Raul MaloA talent as mighty as Raul Malo’s simply can’t be denied. His glorious voice has been rapturously described by The New York Times as “exceptional” and The Wall Street Journal as “exquisite.” Its crystal purity is simply unmatched by any other singer’s today. 

And a voice like his deserves a loving, sturdy melody to wrap itself around. Although completely contemporary, his music recalls the great tunes of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, made famous by Malo’s musical heroes like Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens.

His songs range from the silly to the sublime, by Malo’s own design, and draw on his deep love of country, rock, jazz and Latin music. Malo wrote his latest album, Lucky One over a two-year period at his Nashville home and was so happy with the result that several of his home demos appear as final versions on the CD. For the rest, he enlisted co-producer Steve Berlin, best known for his work with Los Lobos. “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 many of Malo’s favorite tunesmiths including Kris Kristofferson, Dwight Yoakam, Roger Miller and Willie Nelson. “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.”

After close to 20 years of making music, Malo is having more fun than ever. “I get to play exactly what I want. I have a great band. I have great fans,” he says. “It’s really fantastic. And the creative freedom I have now, I wouldn’t trade that for the world.” The liberation that true talent and vision bring has led to the ultimate freedom so lovingly evident on Lucky One.

Note: Raul Malo appears only on the PBS broadcast of Primal Twang, not on the DVD.

 

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