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Frank Marino And Mahogany Rush
Real Live!

Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
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Frank Marino And Mahogany Rush Real Live!

CD Label: Just A Minute Records

 

  Do you remember Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush? How could you forget the great guitar playing of this rock icon? He set the standard for international rock stars in Canada before anyone. The Canadian rocker's career is renewed and revitalized thanks to the Montreal jazz label Justin Time. Get ready for a wonderful trip down memory lane with an incredible double live CD Real Live!

Okay, so were do I start with an album I have been listening to for two weeks now and every time I hear it, I feel completely blown away? You should be very excited about this release; it is easily one of the top ten albums of 2004 (Hopefully I have not said this more than ten times this year!). Honestly, I mean it…this is an extraordinary release.

Disc one features the tremendous riffing and technical expertise of Marino on his guitar along with his strong and upfront vocal style. He uses basic equipment yet his sound is both complex and advanced, it always has been. Best tracks on this disc are "Stories Of A Hero," "He's Calling," "Poppy," and the unbelievable opener, the Hendrix homage, "Voodoo Chile." I heard the Hendrix track enough to realize that the song got its due justice, he played it almost as well as the master himself. Marino is that good, without question. Once you sit (if you can) and listen to this set in its entirety a few times you will surely agree and come to the understanding that this man is one of the greatest guitar players of our age. There will never be another Hendrix but we must acknowledge those that have so wisely followed his example, this is one man that has done that with conviction and taste his own way without being labeled as a mere imitator.

Marino has so many dimensions to his sound and it comes as no surprise that he signed with a notable jazz label. Yes, he rocks hard and uses feedback, fuzz, and all the tools that any good axe wielder would employ, however he travels down the road of jazz via the rock and blues highway, improvisation being his modus operandi. "He's Calling" runs over 14 minutes and the second disc seems like it melds into one big jam session using shorter bursts of improvisation with tracks ranging anywhere from under two minutes to the closer "Try For Freedom," which stretches out into a run that last over 12 minutes.

Do yourself a big favor now, go get this disc, order it online, whatever you have to do to hold it in your hand and pop it into your stereo. I know in my heart of hearts you will love this if you enjoy great rock 'n' roll and can appreciate a true to life virtuoso like Frank Marino. He is a man without compromise and his music reflects that attitude. The booklet included gives you some background on the artist if you are unfamiliar with his legacy, and it includes an interesting a revealing interview.

In 2005, Justin Time will bring back the entire Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush catalog remastered with bonus tracks. I will be awaiting that music with great anticipation.

 

 

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