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home : features : features October 20, 2014

12/28/2012 7:56:00 AM
New year, classic country music: Mavricks play Tim's Toyota Center
The Mavricks
The Mavricks

Scott Orr
Special to the Tribune

The Mavricks haven't been a band for long, but, individually, they've been playing for years.

Mark Belleau, 72, is frontman for the country band. He said he arrived in Arizona in 2011, and "a few months after I got here, I started entertaining in nursing homes and senior day centers."

But he really wanted to play bigger shows, he said, and in order to do that, he'd need a band.

"A lot of the places to play... want a band, they don't want a soloist," he said. "We just started a little over two months ago."

So he recruited veteran musicians: Lead Guitarist Ted Vollmer, Bassist Lew Jump, and Drummer Everitt Holzer. Holzer, he noted, "has been playing for 50 years."

Then came the surprise: the band's first real gig would be playing at Tim's Toyota Center on New Year's Eve in the VIP Lounge. "I got in contact with the staff there, and sent them some demo CD's," he said, and about three weeks ago, they called and booked The Mavricks.

Belleau called The Mavricks a "third-generation country band." That means, he explained, country tunes from the time of black-and-white TV and the heyday of the Grand Old Opry. They cover artists like Hank Williams, George Jones, and Buck Owens.

Plus, Belleau said, they play some of his original songs, which he's been writing since the '70s.

"They can dance to it, or they can sit and listen," he said. "It's classic country."

The band performs after the Sundogs game on Dec. 31 and the hockey ticket gets you into the Mavricks' show.

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