[Hidden Rarities #39] Mashmakhan (CAN)

Mashmakhan was a band from Montreal, Canada whose lineup included artists from other 60s projects such as the Phantoms, Dominoes and Triangle. Original lineup included singer-songwriter Pierre Sénécal (vocals, keyboards, flute), Rayburn Blake (guitar), Jerry Mercer (drums) and the latest R&B backing singer Trevor Payne. In 1969 after they parted ways from, the trio made their live debut in Montreal at Laugh In, and shortly after the first Rock concert heard at the NAC. In 1970 Brian Edwards joined the lineup on bass and chose Mashmakhan as the name of the group, an exotic hallucinogenic. In the same year they released the self-titled debut LP for the Columbia label, from which a 45 rpm “Gladwin/Nature’s Love Song” was extracted via CBS/Sony for the Japanese market. The follow-up single “As The Years Go By” soon became an international success, thanks also to the more accessible Pop Rock sounds. It was released in a split version with Christie‘s track “Yellow River” on the second side via Epic label. His success enabled him to play live in the United States and Japan, including an appearance in Tokyo in 1971 to an audience of 40,000. Also in 1970 other singles were extracted from the album, “Days When We Are Free” for Columbia, with “As The Years Go By” on side B. Another version for the same label with the same track on both sides , developed with a duration of over 6 minutes in the B side. All 4 singles were collected in a 7″ EP entitled “Best Four” released by CBS/Sony for the Japanese market. The second LP “The Family” was published by Columbia in 1971 containing tracks of longer duration than the previous one and with more instrumental parts. Subsequently the band releases some singles on different labels that were less successful than the previous works, leading to the dissolution. Blake joined the Lisa Hartt Band and also recorded some solo material, and Jerry Mercer joined April Wine. The original group was revived twice in the late 1970s by Aquarius Records with future April Wine members Brian Greenway and, later, Steve Lang. The interest in the band is renewed in recent times thanks to the Festival Express in 2003 where there are two tracks performed live by the band during a Canadian train tour. A band that has had some success, but without ever establishing itself definitively, reaching the apex of their career thanks to only a couple of singles. The albums and singles produced by the band are now available at affordable prices both in the original versions and in the various reissues.


(1970) Mashmakhan [Columbia]

(1971) The Family [1971]

Lineup (On both the albums)

Pierre Senecal / Keyboards, Sax, Flute
Rayburn Blake / Guitar
Jerrry Mercer / Drums
Brian Edwards / Bass, Vocals

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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