hide captionRaul Malo has long been a fixture in the alt-country scene.
Raul Malo has long been a fixture in the alt-country scene.
Beginning his career as leader of The Mavericks and later working as a solo artist, singer-songwriter Raul Malo has long been a fixture in alternative country. But his new album, Sinners and Saints, nods to Malo's wide range of influences — a few of which include Roy Orbison, Flaco Jimenez and Glen Campbell. The record features everything from guitar runs that mimic those on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack to his Cuban roots in Miami.
Malo says that inspiration can strike at any time. He says the idea for his album's title track came to him randomly.
"I just kept playing this riff, and I had no musical ideas and no lyrical ideas," he says. "and then one night it hit me, and that was it."
Malo's lyrics address what he sees as a culture of intolerance in America. He addresses this idea in "Matter Much."
"I'm not hearing a voice of reason coming out of too many pundits, and I wanted to write a song that at least was an answer to some of that craziness," Malo says. "I certainly wish that we were a bit more tolerant, and not as fear-hyped as we seem to be nowadays, and so that song was a response to that.
It's fortunate that Malo was able to complete the recording when he did, because he lost some of his favorite instruments in the Nashville floods this past spring.