story begins with The Children of Children, the debut album
around which Madmen and Dreamers formed. Mark
Durstewitz, the original creative force behind the project,
watched friends and family members weather painful divorces and alienation
from their children. In order to come to grips with these situations,
he put it all down in words and music. Inspired by some of the most
emotional music ever written, from Beethoven to Pink Floyd, he began
to record – in his living room – what would eventually become
a rock opera.
In need of a female vocalist, he was introduced by a mutual friend to
Christine Hull. No stranger to divorce, she connected
with the material and offered a different perspective. Her theatrical
background instigated the first of several rewrites to torment Mark.
He patiently endured her suggestions, even taking some of them, much
to her delight. Chris rewrote some of the melody lines, wrote all of
the harmonies and some additional lyrics –an unexpected leap from
performance into creation.
Next, Mark called on Mario Renes, with whom he had
collaborated and recorded over a period of twenty-five years. A seasoned
rock and roll bass player, classically influenced, he graced the project
not only with his musical expertise, but with his studio production
experience as well. Together, Mark and Mario engineered and produced
the double CD concept album. Thus, Mario’s simple, straightforward
recording gig turned into an all-consuming monster.With a band beginning
to form, Mark decided to round out the lineup with a drummer.
Enter Bob Dunleavy, highly recommended by a fellow
musician. Bob’s experience spanned covers to originals across
a wide range of styles. As he became assimilated into the project, the
music took on a whole new dimension. He also suggested the addition
of a couple of songs, which strengthened the story.
The project quickly outgrew Mark’s apartment when recording the
drum tracks proved too much for the neighbors. Luckily, Bob offered
to share rehearsal space he’d used with his last cover band, which
became MadElf Productions, Inc. studio, where the recording process
was completed, and the project mixed. And there was much rejoicing...
Ed Dozier, lead guitar, and Luca Grella, vocalist, are the latest additions to the group, stepping in just as the band began playing The Children of Children in and around New York City. Ed has played with a variety of groups and his influences range from funk and R&B to the progressive rock which defines Madmen and Dreamers. Luca comes to the band from the worlds of musical theatre and cabaret, where he has sung in a wide range of styles, from folk, rock and traditional pop to blues and jazz.
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