Raul Malo had a good run in the '90s with the Mavericks, landing a few hits with smart, tuneful C&W roughly in the Dwight Yoakam mode, though touching on varied influences drawn from lounges, salsa ballrooms, and sock hops as much as honky tonks. After a series of covers albums, Malo is back with his second solo collection of new material, Lucky One (Fantasy), craftily produced by Malo and Los Lobos' Steve Berlin. Malo has a rangy, sometimes swoon-inducing voice, and uses it with unapologetic histrionics redolent of Roy Orbison and Marty Robbins. That would be enough—I mean, the guy can really sing—but he's also a careful writer and a tasty twang guitarist from the Duane Eddy school. Whether it's calling on Dean Martin, Beny Moré, Harry Nilsson, or Elvis Presley, Lucky One is steadfastly retrogressive, but it's rarely if ever cute or mannered, and its sad, rich, romantic melodies are always sung with wet-eyed, irresistible conviction. With the Gabe Dixon Band. 18+.
Fri., March 27, 8:30 p.m., 2009
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