Jamey Johnson, Raul Malo Make Vocal Magic on ‘To All The Girls’

Usually a random cover song posted to YouTube would not be worthy of making a big stink about. But when the principal actors are the one and only Raul Malo of The Mavericks—who continues to be both the most underrated, and most talented male singer that country music boasts—and Jamey Johnson—who is as talented as he is reclusive from recorded output these days—it’s a perfect combination that worthy of stopping down for, and letting the pure vocal magic sink in.

A smart selection for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, the two venerable singers and songwriters stepped inside the studio for The Mavericks’ “Quarantunes” series to perform the Hal David and Albert Hammond-written song “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” made famous by the cross cultural collaboration of Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias in 1984.

The conjoining to two perspective on the universal language of love is revived, as are the incredible vocal renditions in this pop standard captured brilliantly both in audio and visual form. Only accompanied by a little bit of drum, bass, and organ, it came out exquisite. “We wanted the focus to be on the vocals,” Raulo Malo says. “My son Dino helped me create, arrange and record this track. Sometimes It’s a family affair here at Mono Mundo Recordings.”

Though the two have never sung in the studio together before, they’re apparently long-time acquaintances.

“Jamey and I have been wanting to do something in the studio since we hung out about ten years ago at the Key West Songwriters Festival,” Malo recalls. “I always knew he was a great writer. But to me he’s equally as impressive as a singer. I remember in Key West a late night or two where guitars were passed around and songs were sung into the wee hours. (Honestly it’s a little hard to remember through the fog of tequila, weed, rum, beer, sun, sand, and ocean…) I’ve heard plenty of people throughout the years recount these nights. I’m pretty sure they happened.”

Along with allowing one to observe how over the past few years, Jamey Johnson is beginning to look more and more like Jeff Clayton from the wild punk band ANTiSEEN sans the bloody forehead, this rendition of “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” illustrates what an incredible gift it is to country music that these two men have chosen to lend their voice to it over the years.

If chocolates don’t get her in the mood, this likely will.

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