Machaira Through The Years
From the beginnings in 1990, to the present, Machaira has enjoyed over 25+ years of the Love of The Lord and music with many different band members. Thank you to everyone who has supported Machaira through the years, and to every person who has encouraged us to go where the Lord has led us.
MACHAIRA (a band of musicians)
MACHAIRA (muh-kai-ruh) is a non-denominational Christian band with its roots in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. They have been playing and singing together in Northern California for the past 25+ years. They have recorded and released five albums, appeared in the feature-length film Something in the Dark, and toured Russia by invitation which produced the filmed documentary: 151 Hours, The Russia Tour. Their latest album release: Play Loud Preach Hard features legendary Tower Of Power Horn player, Mic Gillette, Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack and Marc Russo on Sax as well as 80’s pop star keyboardist Brent Bourgeois. They are presently working on their sixth CD which will be released in the spring of 2017.
Machaira was established in 1990 in Grass Valley, California. The Band began as a partnership between John Voelz and Dennis Hulbert. During the early years Machaira was home to several good musicians who came and went after leaving their mark on the Hulbert and Voelz produced first album called Lead Me Home. After four years John Voelz moved on to establish a career as a Pastor as well as producing several solo music projects of his own. For the next several years as band members continued to come and go a core group formed. Guitarist Steve Miller, Drummer Ed Butrick and Bassist Dennis Hulbert became the heart of Machaira. This line up, with others produced a live CD as well as several 80’s style music videos. Because of the revolving door of musicians the band never truly defined itself with a solid musical style, achieving little real success. That all changed in 2000 when guitarist/singer/songwriter Jon Brown replaced Steve Miller. Jon’s guitar playing and song writing ability allowed the group for the first time to really define its style and musical direction.
The next 10 years
With the stability of Jon Brown’s excellent guitar work, Dennis Hulbert’s solid Bass and Ed Butrick’s driving Drumbeats Machaira, with the help of the other transiting members, produced two CD Albums: Walk In The Truth and Show Me The Way. The band also appeared in the feature-length movie called “Something In The Dark”. A film made to raise the awareness of the plight of missing and exploited children in the United States as well as share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The lead star of the film is Luke Goss of Blade II, Hellboy II, One Night With the King and The Man. Something In The Dark was co-directed by Michel Dryhurst of Super Man II and Hope and Glory. Machaira was also featured in a spinoff of the film, a music video called “The River”. Many scenes in the video were taken directly from the film including shots of Luke Goss in an action sequence while the band performs in the background. In 2006 Machaira teamed up with The Kingdom Foundation and undertook an international evangelistic outreach tour in the Lipetsk Region of Russia. The tour took a total of 151 hours and the group performed at five separate venues and events. A documentary film was made of the tour called 151 Hours: The Russia Tour.
Still calling Northern California their home base, the band continued to perform mainly in the Sacramento area. Their fifth CD release opened doors for the band to reach a much broader audience. Jon Brown’s current songwriting has challenged the band to develop a much more Jazz influenced feel. This in turn has allowed the new recording to feature some of the best musicians in the business. With the help of Rich Ayres, producer and engineer at River City Recording, Play Loud Preach Hard guest musicians include: Brent Bourgeois of Bourgeois Tag fame on keyboards, Michael Hossack of the Doobie Brothers on drums and percussion, Tower of Power/Rolling Stones horn legend Mic Gillette, Sax player Marc Russo of Tower of Power / Doobie Brothers fame and drummer Keith Edwards of Ricky Skaggs/Johnny Rivers/Petra celebrity.
Machaira continues to do what they have always done, even though its mostly new faces, their mission remains the same. Today’s line-up has grown to a 10-piece band with a horn section and backup singers, which brings diversity to the groups sound. Machaira is also well known throughout Northern California for hosting the longest running free Gospel Concert in the Country, Praise In The Mountains. Running for 29 years this annual event features many local as well as International Christian artists.