Originally making his mark in the country music world and then slipping into the Latin and jazz arenas via rock & roll, Raul Malo has proven to be an ever-expanding musical talent. Malo, born in Miami of Cuban parents, started playing bass guitar in high school and soon found his way into several small bands. In 1987, he made his first recording with the Basics, and one song, "Paperheart," appeared on the promotional album Unsigned. While the album wasn't a success, the experience whet Malo's appetite for more. Later in the '80s, Malo and a high-school friend, Robert Reynolds (bass), joined together to form their own country band, based on their mutual love for Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Patsy Cline. Paul Deakin, with experience in several progressive rock bands, became the drummer, and the group chose the name the Mavericks. This band went on to become one of the outstanding country bands of the '90s.