Being a maverick just comes naturally to Raul Malo.
As the founder and frontman for the '90s alt-country band The Mavericks, the Miami native crossed musical genres while becoming one of the decade's most popular country acts with multiplatinum sales and a Grammy Award.
As a solo artist, Malo continues to meld his Cuban and country roots to create a style all his own. The singer/songwriter, who will perform Wednesday at the State Theatre, was called "the greatest country-rock crooner since Roy Orbison" by Esquire.
With The Mavericks, he charted such Billboard country hits as "O What a Thrill," "There Goes My Heart" and "All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down."
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The band won three Academy of Country Music Awards and two Country Music Association Awards in addition to its Grammy for best country duo or group with vocals.
Malo's solo releases include his 2001 debut, "Today," and his most recent, 2007's "After Hours." Last year, he also released a holiday album, "Marshmallow World & Other Holiday Favorites."
His new material again blends genres, from his Cuban heritage to jazz and salsa and Tex-Mex. The Washington Post said he "seems capable of covering everything between Presley and Pavarotti."