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Raul Malo of the Mavericks’ ‘When There’s No One’ Playlist


With everyone sequestered and self-quarantining due to the coronavirus, we’ve asked our favorite artists to come up with playlists that keep you entertained. Here is legendary singer/songwriter Raul Malo:

We often make playlists for every sort of occasion and/or activity we can think of. Sometimes they can be a bit of performance themselves. Chances are there are guests to be entertained, dinners to be served, or cocktails to be had. Or all of the aforementioned. I wanted to offer a playlist that happens when there’s no one around. There’s no one to judge you or impugn your selection. So it’s early morning in my house right now. Everyone’s asleep, except for me and my little bulldog Sonny. I made myself a cappuccino, rolled a fatty, and put my music on shuffle. The songs played in this order…

“Docking Waltz” – Justin Hurwitz
This is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard. Hurwitz composed this sweeping piece to score the “docking” scene in First Man. Just perfect.

“So Long Marianne” – Leonard Cohen
One of my favorite troubadours to ever put pen to paper Cohen wrote this about his muse Marianne. He said, “a lot of people I know think that there is nothing more important than making a song”.

“Le Prochain Amour” – Jacques Brel
Sometimes songs hit you and you don’t know why. You don’t understand a word. No matter. While he lived Brel was probably the coolest man on earth. That’s all you need to know.

“Bulls on Parade” – Rage Against the Machine
I love it when artists use their platform to speak up against injustices. Morello and his crew do it better than everybody and they rock like “mother-fu&%ers”…

“Work to Do” – The Aggrolites
The music coming out of Jamaica in the sixties became the standard-bearer for generations. This is one of many stand-out tracks from that time.

“I Can Hear You Calling” – Three Dog Night
As a kid I remember buying a 45 RPM single with the hit “Joy To The World” on its A-side. When I got home I flipped the record to the B-side and discovered this song. Always listen to the B-side.

“La Cumbia del Zapatero” – Chicha Libre
I love this band so much. I love their use of instruments in their arrangements. This is a fine example of what they do.

“Shake and Fingerpop” – Jr. Walker and the All-Stars
Some songs just make you get up and boogie. This music was created so that people could have a good time. I love purpose-built music.

“For Beginners” – M. Ward
I love the way he (Ward) uses different elements in his music. Whether he writes one or covers one he always offers up an interesting twist to the proceedings. Dig it.

“Southern Nights” – Allen Toussaint
As we continue to quarantine through the summer (in Nashville), this song plays regularly no matter who’s commandeering the music. Sit outside. Open a beer. And listen to this. There are far worst ways to spend an evening.