Music » Livewire

Raul Malo

With Ryan Humbert. Saturday, May 6, at the Beachland Ballroom.

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The Mavericks might be kaput, but the '90s' most significant country act lives on with Raul Malo, the crooner who channeled Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, and Hank Williams on such hits as "What a Crying Shame" and "O What a Thrill."

Since the band's breakup last year, Malo has focused on his solo career by traveling the open road with nothing but a pianist and his acoustic guitar, belting out numbers from his soon-to-be-released album, You're Only Lonely, a collection of covers in the same vein as Linda Ronstadt's cover albums of the '70s and '80s. Sure, it's hard not to mistake him for a lounge singer up there onstage, especially considering his ever-expanding waistline, but you can't mistake the soul-tickling power of his voice; Willie Nelson, Randy Newman, the Bee Gees, the Everly Brothers -- he nails them all with aplomb. Hell, he even covers Etta James' "At Last" -- a version he not only makes his own, but would probably have James shouting "At last!" too.

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