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Published: 2010/10/06
by Nancy Dunham

Raul Malo Embraces "Saints and Sinners"

From there, Malo started experimenting with his own songs, first on classical guitar and then on electric eventually adding horns, percussion and other instrumentation. Although it was a new approach to his creative process, Malo found it oddly comfortable as well.

“I found my music has a lot of those elements already in it especially my solo work,” he said. “I never knew where it came from…To me, it is all a cohesive unit. I basically used all the same instruments on each track – changed a beat here and there and changed the groove and boom — it makes it a completely different thing. “

To Malo’s mind, though he doesn’t mention the Mavericks, there are many sections of the population that are looking for sounds akin to those on Sinners and Saints. in their music. Although many musicians now put equal emphasis on the high-tech effects that are embraced during arena shows, Malo is aiming toward a different target that puts the emphasis on the music.

“There’s a whole section of the population that popular culture does not address or reach out to,” he said. “Instead they just talk about living for today, which is a broken model…We are seeing a cottage industry really starting to grow a bit. Look at house concerts. People are setting up concerts away from Live Nation and Clear Channel and TicketMaster because they are tired of [such homogenization]. I’m personally glad I’m in Americana.”

Certainly the crowds at the Americana Music Festival embraced him, especially his newest music. Although Malo approached the album – which he completely wrote, engineered and produced with help from a few players along the way — as an experiment, he seems quite satisfied with the final work. Perhaps that’s because it truly is all from his viewpoint.

“I decided early on that this record was going to be truly from my perspective and I didn’t want the usual feedback,” he said of the pursuit. “I didn’t want to be swayed one way or the other. When you’re working with somebody, there’s always a little bit of give-and-take and that’s ok – that’s part of the creative process and I love that creative process. It’s been like that all my life…This record, though is a bit more personal….I thought ‘Why not just go all the way?’”

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