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Background information
OriginL'Île-Perrot, Quebec, Canada
GenresRock fusion, folk, progressive rock
Years active1969 (1969)–1971 (1971)
LabelsEpic, Collectables
MembersBrian Edwards
Pierre Sénécal
Past membersRayburn Blake
Jerry Mercer
Brian Greenway
Steve Lang

Mashmakhan was a Canadian rock fusion band formed in 1969 in L'Île-Perrot, Quebec. The band is best known for their hit single "As the Years Go By" (reaching #1 in their native Canada).


Members Pierre Sénécal, Brian Edwards, Jim Nuchter and Rayburn Blake first met in 1960 in Montreal, Quebec. Their drummer did not show up one night for a gig, so Jerry Mercer was brought in and ended up joining the band. Edwards quit shortly thereafter, but the other three continued to perform on the local scene under names like the Phantoms, Ray Blake's Combo, and the Dominoes.

By 1965 they were calling themselves The Triangle, and backing up local R&B singer Trevor Payne. They backed up Payne for four years until being discovered by record producer Bob Hahn, who recorded demos for the group in March 1969 and helped them get signed with Columbia Records in Toronto, Ontario. Edwards rejoined the band and they changed their name to Mashmakhan, after a variety of hashish sold by a local dealer, to appeal to a modern audience.[1][2]

The Sénécal-penned song "As the Years Go By" was released off their debut album in an edited form, and was the group's first hit; it sold 100,000 copies in Canada and 400,000 copies in the United States (on the Epic label). The band actually wrote the song as a novelty addition to their album, not expecting it to gain serious recognition. The single also sold 400,000 copies in Japan. This disc sold over one million copies globally, and received a gold disc.[3] The two follow-up singles were "Gladwin" and "Days When We Are Free".

In June and July, 1970, the band performed during the Festival Express concerts (initially billed as the "Transcontinental Pop Festival"). Their live performance of "Comin' Home Baby" appears in the "Festival Express" film. Their live performances of "Comin' Home Baby" and "As the Years Go By", along with interviews, appear in the "Festival Express" DVD release.

In 1971, Mashmakhan was one of two contributors to the musical score of the NFB film Epilogue/Fièvre, which was directed by William Pettigrew. "Couldn't Find the Sun", written by Rayburn Blake for the movie, was included on Mashmakhan's 1971 album The Family. This album also did well in Japan, but the band realized little domestic success and split up shortly thereafter.[1][2]

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.[2]

Mashmakhan later experienced significant renewed interest with the release of the film Festival Express, which featured colour film of the band performing two songs during the Festival Express concerts in Canada in 1970.[4]


Title Release date Label
Mashmakhan 1970 Epic
The Family 1971 Epic
Mashmakhan/The Family 1999 Collectables


  1. ^ a b Pettipas, Keith. "Mashmakhan > Biography" (DLL). 1168 Oak Valley Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48108, United States of America: Allmusic/All Media Guide. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Hodder, Evan. "Biography for Mashmakhan". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 283. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  4. ^ Blake, Rayburn. "Welcome to Mashmakhan. com". Canada: Mashmakhan. Archived from the original on 2009-11-14. Retrieved August 10, 2009.

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