genre: prog folk related
quality: lossless (flac, cue, log, scans)
time: 1:14'43" size: 476 mb
Dreams Fantasies & Nightmares:
These four started out as long ago as 1960 when they backed a Montreal R'n'B singer. By 1965 they were playing together in Triangle - who backed R'n'B singer Trevor Payne.
At the end of the decade they split from Payne striking out on their own under the new name of Mashmakhan, taken from the name of a Montreal dealer. An alternative explanation is that the band is named after a plant that grows in Bermuda called "match-me-if-you-can". Their debut 45, As The Years Go By, was not only a Canadian hit but also an international smash. Indeed in Japan it became the third largest selling record by a foreign artist. In the U.S.A. it got to No. 31. They never equalled these feats with their subsequent efforts but did enjoy four more Canadian hits.
As The Years Go By is one of the stand out tracks on their first album with its good keyboard intro and story song lyrics. Days When We Are Free, their follow-up 45 is on the album too. It's a melodic pop/rock composition with lots of fuzzy guitar and was included on Bam-Caruso's Rubble 8. The final cut, Letter From Zambia and Gladwin are both notable for some pleasant flute/percussion interplay.
Their second album is almost totally different sounding; rawer, freer, and improvised, but more amateurish too, especially on some vocal parts. However, amateurism is sometimes considered as an advantage, as in several private pressings for example.
On side one, Children Of The Sun, (there are several songs under this title, but this one is an original P. Senecal composition) is flute dominated, with smooth melodic vocals and a certain Eastern flavour in the beginning. The melody line and P. Senecal's lead vocals (only here) with electric guitar accompaniment in The Family bring to mind Neil Young, and then a dreamy lead guitar is added. The third track entitled The Prince, and inspired by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry's book "Le Petit Prince", is Mashmakhan's most complex and progressive piece, beginning with organ and featuring strange sounding sax, a solid rhythm section and long guitar leads. The following track, Come Again, based on a slow hypnotic beat, has harmony vocals and excellent flute and sax solos.
The second side begins with Children Laughing. There are no instrumental extravaganzas here, but this mid-tempo melodic song is full of calmness and beauty. Couldn't Find The Sun, which was written for a National Film Board movie, is a bit inconsistent, but Start All Over has a certain West Coast psych feeling, with piano backing, guitar riffs and a swirling organ break. The closing track, Mr. Tree, is long (10:25), slow and dreamy, with organ and guitar exchanging lead roles. In general, The Family is a very good album, that grows on you after some spins.
Senecal left the band in the early seventies. He returned in 1979 as a solo artist with The Gypsy on Black Bear Records and had a solo album released in 1983, Voici Mon Amour.
After the band's demise, Jerry Mercer went to the U.S. in 1972 where he worked as a session drummer with Roy Buchanan, Ellen McIlwaine and The Wackers, before returning to Canada to join April Wine. ~ (Vernon Joynson/CA)
01. Days when we are free 6:14
02. I know I've been wrong 4:50
03. As the years go by 3:06
04. Shades of loneliness 4:48
05. Afraid of loving you 4:09
06. Gladwin 4:26
07. If I tried 4:35
08. Happy you should be 3:49
09. Nature's love song 3:52
10. Letter fom Zambia 6:14
11. Children of the sun 3:32
12. The family 5:12
13. The prince 5:15
14. Come again 4:39
15. Children laughing 3:36
16. Couldn't find the sun 2:44
17. Start all over 3:43
Pierre Senecal / keyboards, sax, flute
Rayburn Blake / guitar
Jerrry Mercer / drums
Brian Edwards / bass, vocals