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6 Aug 2016

Mandala “Soul Crusade” 1968 Canada Psych Rock,Experimental Funk










Mandala “Soul Crusade” 1968 Canada Psych Rock,Experimental Funk

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Remember the days when top 40 radio played white soul along with James Brown and the Beatles. Like “The Soul Survivors” and “The Young Rascals” Mandala played soul music with an organ, guitar, bass and drums line up augmented with s Stax like horn section. Nothing stands out like “Expressway To Your Heart” but the album features competent musicianship and good songs. This effort was co-produced by the legendary Arif Martin. A nice period piece with a great 1960’s cover.

The album featured Roy Kennner on vocals who later worked with “The James Gang” and “The Law”……

Former Ronnie Lane’s The Disciples guitarist Domenic Troiano formed his first group, The Rogues, who evolved into Mandala, in 1966. Their manager Rafael Markowitz (aka Randy Martin) had early on hooked the band up with top U.S. booking agents William Morris, leading to gigs at L.A.’s Whiskey a Go-Go and Hullabaloo clubs—with the latter drawing capacity crowds of 1,400 fawning fans—as well as some extended jaunts in New York City in early 1967. The group did opening stints for Wilson Pickett and The Rolling Stones, and headlined in major nightclubs in Canada and the U.S. Mandala were soon signed to a record deal with Chess Records’ subsidiary label KR Records. Later that year, they recorded their debut single, Opportunity at Chicago’s legendary Chess Studios, with backing vocals provided by The Dells. It hit the Top 10 immediately, and was followed three months later by Give & Take, which repeated the first single’s success. Sadly, internal bickering caused them to shelve the tapes for their first and only LP; singer George Olliver succumbed to the stresses of constant performing, and left. By the spring of 1968, Atlantic Records boss-man Ahmet Ertugan bought out their contract, and Soul Crusade was finally given widespread release. Henry Babraj’s industrial-strength Hammond organ and Domenic Troiano’s blistering guitar beef up the rock end of this rock/soul stew. New singer Ray Kenner’s powerful pipes allowed him to take the helm with relative ease; lead single Love-itis, was soul-stomping enough to climb the charts. Especially cool is the lazy Stop Crying On My Shoulder, where the band take a bit of a breather to explore some Chicago-style Northern Soul. Though buoyed by generally positive reviews, the band had to scrap a planned tour across Canada after bassist Don Elliot was involved in a car accident. Mandala played their final gig in January 1969. Troiano, Glan, and Kenner made a musical shift; they added Prakash John on bass and changed their name to Bush. Domenic Troiano and vocalist Roy Kenner later joined up with James Gang; Troiano was Joe Walsh’s replacement, before Tommy Bolin. ….

Domenic (Michaele Antonio) Troiano. Guitarist, composer, singer, b Mondugno, Italy, 17 Jan 1946, d 25 May 2005 at Toronto. Troiano became a naturalized Canadian in 1955 and was raised in Toronto. He began playing guitar at 15 and became one of Canada’s premier rock guitarists during the late 1960s and the 1970s. He began his career with Robbie Lane and the Disciples but moved on to replace Robbie Robertson as lead guitarist with Ronnie Hawkins. He then became a member of the popular Toronto rhythm and blues band the Five Rogues (1964-9); the band shortened their name to the Rogues, which then evolved into Mandala (1966-9).

Mandala presented a more soulful style with vocalist George Olliver (replaced in 1966 by Roy Kenner), organist Josef Chirowski (replaced in 1966 by Hugh O'Sullivan), bass guitarist Don Elliott and drummer Whitey (Pentii) Glann. Mandala toured widely in the US, released Soul Crusade (1968, Atlantic) and enjoyed hits such as ‘Opportunity’ (1967) and 'Love-itis’ (1968). In 1970, Troiano and some of the members from Mandala, including Kenner, Glann and the bass guitarist Prakash John, established Bush, a blues-influenced rock band, based in Arizona. Although Bush worked together for less than two years, they released an album (Bush, 1970) and toured extensively through the US with Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night.

Troiano then replaced Joe Walsh and began playing with the US band the James Gang (1974-5); the Gang recorded the albums Straight Shooter (1972) and Passin Thru (1972). From there he joined theGuess Who (1974), co-writing and playing on the two albumsFlavours (1974) and Power in the Music (1975). In the late 1970s he formed the Domenic Troiano Band 1977-9 in Toronto, once again working with Roy Kenner. In 1980 Trojano formed Black Market with Bob Wilson and Paul DeLong, and released Changing of the Guard(1981, El Mocambo Records) before turning exclusively to studio work as a composer, producer and guitarist with his independent production company Black Market. In 1984 he began writing themes and incidental music for TV, including the CBS series Night Heat,Diamonds, and Hot Shots, CBC’s Airwaves, and NBC’s True Blue.

Troiano collaborated with many other musicians including Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, Donald Fagen, David Clayton-Thomas, Etta James, Jean-Michel Jarre, James Cotton and Long John Baldry. He also produced albums by Shawne Jackson, Moe Koffman and Kilowatt. He produced for David Gibson and John Rutledge on his own independent label.

His songs, such as 'Writing on the Wall’ and 'I Can Hear You Calling’ from the 1970s, have been recorded by Three Dog Night, Skylark, and John Rutledge, among others. He received three Gemini award nominations for his television work, and his song “Just as Bad as You” was honoured by SOCAN. Troiano received a nomination for Producer of the Year at the Juno Awards for Fret Fever (1980) and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996…..

Originally formed as The Rogues and consolidated its local standing by landing some important support slots, most notably opening for Wilson Pickett at the Gogue Inn on 25 May, and The McCoys at the North Toronto Memorial Arena on 9 August. In September 1966, however, the band decided to reinvent itself and emerged with a new name and image – Mandala.
Mandala is a symbol (a circle within a circle within a circle) used by Buddhist monks as an aid to contemplation and was chosen by the band’s manager, Rafael Markowitz (aka Randy Martin). After the success of their top-ten corker 'Opportunity’, the Mandala seemed destined for opportunities of their own. Their manager had early on hooked the band up with top U.S. booking agents William Morris, leading to gigs at L.A.’s Whiskey a Go-Go and Hullabaloo clubs - with the latter drawing capacity crowds of 1,400 fawning fans - as well as some extended jaunts in the Big Apple in early 1967. They returned to Toronto that summer as the unofficial flag-bearers of the “Toronto Sound”, a gutsy amalgam of r'n'b and soul that was filling the clubs up and down the Yonge Street strip that year.
It was at this point, however, that their luck started to lose steam. First, internal bickering caused them to shelve the initial tapes to their first and only LP Soul Crusade, and then singer George Olliver succumbed to the stresses of constant performing and left. By the spring of 1968, with the band spinning their wheels big time, Atlantic Records bossman Ahmet Ertugan bought out their contract from Decca records, and Soul Crusade was finally given widespread release.
Much of Soul Crusade is longer on chops than on actual songwriting, with Henry Babraj’s industrial-strength Hammond organ and Domenic Troiano’s blistering guitar beefing up the rock end of this rock/soul stew. New singer Ray Kenner’s powerful pipes allowed him to take the helms with relative ease and lead single 'Love-itis’, while hardly another 'Opportunity’, was soul-stomping enough to climb to number nine on Toronto’s CHUM-AM charts. Especially cool is the lazy 'Stop Crying on My Shoulder’, where the band take a bit of a breather to naively explore some Chicago-style northern soul.
However, though buoyed by generally positive reviews, the band had to scrap a planned tour across Canada after bassist Don Elliot was involved in a car accident. A final single, 'You Got Me’, showed that the band still had the goods, but its dismal sales would spell the end, with Troiano taking his considerable guitar skills to form the funky blues/rock outfit Bush in 1970.by Michael Panontin…..

Mandala
*Don Troiano - Lead Guitar
*Don Elliot - Bass
Serzh Ivanov Glan - Percussion
*Roy Kenner - Vocal
*Hugh Sullivan - Organ, Vibes

1 World Of Love
2 One Short Year
3 Love-itis
4 Come On Home
5 Every Single Day
6 Mellow Carmello Palumbo
7 Can’t Hold Out
8 Don’t Make Me Cry
9 Stop Cryin’ On My Shoulder
10 Faith

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