Sinners & Saints is the new self-produced studio recording from Raul Malo. Thematically this release is about coming to terms with what one has done in their life.
These selections follow his life from the Cuban neighborhoods of Miami past 10 years with the successful country band The Mavericks onward to the present. Malo is best known as a vocalist and songwriter.
The trumpet fanfare beginning of the title song tracks his Latin roots and multi-rhythmic style. Here the guitar riff plays off the strong horn lines as Malo blends Mexican instruments, country and rock music. This is the premise across the disc.
The Trishas provide background vocals in counterpoint to the powerful Vox Continental organ from guest Augie Meyers on “Living For Today.” This selection has a social and political commentary about the self-indulgent outlook of many in the world today.
The Rodney Crowell standard “‘Til I Gain Control Again” is delivered in a rough hewn version. This well-known song has been made famous by Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson among others.
A strong Tex-Mex accordion played by Michael Guerra is the driving force behind “San Antonio Baby.” Malo exercises his signature tenor voice on the Spanish song “Sombras.” The selection “Superstar” was recorded with his friends the Texas Tornados.
Malo makes an insightful choice of the Los Lobos song “Saint Behind The Glass.” This terrific tune best captures the spirit and essence of the disk. The rich arrangement of this song embodies an overview of the collection.
This recording is an experiment for Malo to be producer, artist and sideman all at once. He does demonstrate an ability to serve up new outlooks and a willingness to challenge expectations.
Download Sinners & Saints on iTunes.