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Album Review

When headbanger historians look back on the important heavy metal and hard rock bands that were active during the '70s, Mahogany Rush's name doesn't come up nearly as often as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Kiss, Van Halen, Judas Priest, Blue Öyster Cult or Aerosmith — and that is regrettable because Frank Marino led one of the '70s' most exciting hard rock/metal outfits. Mahogany Rush is, without question, underrated. Walk past a Hard Rock Café, and it isn't uncommon to hear Zep's "Whole Lotta Love" or Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" being blasted — but how often will a Hard Rock Café expose pedestrians to something by Mahogany Rush? Regardless, Marino still has his share of die-hard followers who will be happy to know that Mahogany Rush is in fine form on Real Live. Recorded live at Club Soda in Montreal, Canada on September 8, 2001 (only three days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks), this two-CD set doesn't break any new ground for Marino — who sticks with the sort of Jimi Hendrix-influenced hard rock, heavy metal, blues-rock and psychedelic rock he was providing 30 years earlier. Marino's refusal to change with the times is just as well — he is great at what he does, and the singer/guitarist is as inspired on original material as he is on performances of the Zombies' "She's Not There" and two Hendrix classics: "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" and "Red House." Clearly, time hasn't robbed Marino (who was 46 in 2001) of either his chops or his enthusiasm. Casual listeners would be better off starting out with some of Mahogany Rush's old-'70s recordings, but longtime fans will be happy to know how nicely his vocals and guitar playing are holding up on these Montreal performances.

Customer Reviews

Hey Frank...where have you been hiding?

Believe it or not, I had forgotten about Frank Marino. While in High School we saw him live several times a year, then life got in the way and he dropped off the face. This collection shows his obvious Hendrix & Stevie Ray influences but also shows off Frank's genius as one of the best. If you love blues with an R&B/Rock have to check this one out. Thanks Frank…good to see you again!

Real Live

Having rediscovered Frank Marino on XM Radio, I heard the song Try For Freedom and decided to download Real Live. The album showcases an unsung guitar hero of rock and roll and truly displays that he is not a heavy metal guitarist as he was labeled in the 70's but shows more of his jazz and blues roots. What a shame that he has been overlooked as a true guitar hero who needs to share his place with SRV, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. Burn the CD to disc and pop into your dash, when Guitar Prelude to a Hero comes on you will forget where you are and hope you have a long enough ride to hear the whole medly. Though the album is a mix of originals and covers, Frank doesn't make new arrangements to try to sound original, but takes the original arrangements and makes them sound unique. He crosses from rock, blues and jazz with such little effort that at times you think your hearing Buddy Guy, Danny Gatton and Duane Allman at the same time. I only look forward to collecting more of this unsung hero of modern music.

Must Have guitar album

This is not necessarily 'headbanger' music, but this is truly classic electric guitar at its best. Check out tracks 7 through 11 that just flow from one song into the next. You WILL want to crank this!


Born: August 22, 1954 in Montreal, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Frank Marino was born in Canada in 1954. He began playing guitar at the age of 13 after having played drums for three years. Very soon after changing instruments, Marino had formed his band Mahogany Rush. By 1971, three years later, the group had developed quite a following. At the age of 17, his first album, MAXOOM, was released and the group quickly started generating a larger and larger following and more albums. In all, by the year 2001, Marino had released 11 albums with Mahogany Rush. He also...
Full Bio
Real Live!, Frank Marino
View In iTunes
  • Partial Album
  • Genres: Blues-Rock, Music, Rock
  • Released: Oct 19, 2004

Customer Ratings