03 Jun MAHOGANY RUSH- “CONCERT REVIEW” (9-29-76)

A CONCERT REVIEW OF MAHOGANY RUSH IN WINNIPEG FROM THE 1976 TOUR.

An Ad for a Mahogany Rush Concert in Seattle in April, 1978. Judas Priest cancled.


CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO SEE MAHOGANY RUSH PHOTOS AND ARTWORK:
MAHOGANY RUSH PHOTOS BY BEN UPHAM
AND
MAHOGANY RUSH PHOTOS FROM MISSOULA, MONTANA BY BEN UPHAM
AND
MAHOGANY RUSH ART BY BEN UPHAM
AND
MAHOGANY RUSH FINE ART AMERICA IMAGES BY BEN UPHAM

MAHOGANY RUSH –
“CONCERT REVIEW”
BY ANDY MELLEN
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA
SEPTEMBER 29, 1976

It’s always a pleasure to come across a Canadian group aspiring to international stardom. It’s even better when one encounters an act which possesses the ability to achieve such a lofty goal.
There are times, however, when I’m more than a trifle puzzled by the methods a group employs. A good case in point is my recent encounter with Frank Marino, founder and leader of a Montreal-based power trio called Mahogany Rush. At 21, he’s an amazingly gifted young guitarist and writer, as he has been proving the past few years on four albums.
Unfortunately, it’s doubtful whether anyone unfamiliar with Mahogany Rush’s records would have felt a great compulsion to rush out and purchase them following the group’s 35-minute set as the opening act for Nazareth’s Sept. 20 gig in the Winnipeg Arena.
Those who have heard all or most of the group’s recorded output were probably as perplexed as I was by its methodical, five-song set.
Save for the show-opening “New Rock and Roll”, Mahogany didn’t play one original song during its brief performance, a 15-minute version of Jimi Hendrix’s blues classic, Red House; an ancient blues standard called King Bee, Chuck Berry’s venerable Johnny B. Goode and an explosive rendition of the American national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner, served up a la Jimi Hendrix with feedback and shrill, whining guitar passages.
As the group made its exit to a respectable round of applause from the 7,000 in attendance, I sat in disbelief, asking myself “Is that it?”
I was at a loss to understand how a group on the verge of earning a shot at the international spotlight with four albums of original material in its repertoire would even think about turning in the sort of set Mahogany Rush performed.
Following a 45-minute discussion with Marino, I was still having great difficulty trying to figure out this young musician. Although Marino — along with bassist Paul Harwood and drummer Jim Ayoub — still calls Montreal home, his attitude towards this country’s music scene could hardly be described as pro-Canadian. The fact that it has taken the group more than four years to play its first Western Canada dates (prior to the current tour, Mahogany’s only Canadian appearances outside of the province of Quebec were several Toronto gigs) is only one indication of Marino’s decided lack of interest in cultivating success in his native country.
Asked about the group’s show. Marino offered this explanation: “We were prepared to do our regular set tonight. Basically, that’s Dragonfly, The Answer and The Emperor off the new album (Mahogany Rush IV), a couple of things off the second and third albums and even a song, from Maxoom (the group’s three-year old debut effort).”
“After we did the first song and didn’t get any reaction, we decided to switch the set,” he said. “I can usually read a crowd, and this one just wasn’t receptive to the sort of music we play.”
Although I concurred that the group was somewhat mis-billed opening for Nazareth — a group which attracts a hardcore AM radio audience — I suggested the group’s ever-increasing following in this city came expecting to hear the group on Mahogany Rush’s albums. I won’t argue that much of Mahogany’s own music probably would have gone over the heads of many of the younger fans in attendance. But then, a 15-minute slow blues like Red House is probably just as alien to a young AM rock fan as some of the band’s spacier, jazz-tinged material.
Marino, however, expressed little regret for the group’s show. He seemed much more anxious to talk about the group’s success Stateside (the band is developing into a headliner in major centers such as Los Angeles and Chicago and is long-established in hard rock havens such as Detroit and Cleveland) and its first European tour.
Sadly, Frank Marino seems much more intent on making it in the United States and Europe than he is on satisfying his growing legion of Canadian fans.

FRANK MARINO & MAHOGANY RUSH
DISCOGRAPHY:
1973 Maxoom
1974 Child of the Novelty
1975 Strange Universe
1976 IV
1977 World Anthem
1978 Live
1979 Tales of the Unexpected
1980 What’s Next
1981 The Power of Rock ‘N’ Roll
1982 Juggernaut
1986 Full Circle
1988 Double Live
1990 From the Hip
1997 Dragonfly (Best of)
2000 Eye of the Storm
2004 Real Live

CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO SEE MAHOGANY RUSH PHOTOS AND ARTWORK:
MAHOGANY RUSH FINE ART AMERICA IMAGES BY BEN UPHAM
AND
MAHOGANY RUSH ART BY BEN UPHAM
AND
MAHOGANY RUSH IN MISSOULA, MONTANA 1979 PHOTOS BY BEN UPHAM
AND
MAHOGANY RUSH PHOTOS BY BEN UPHAM