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Dan Molloy

Vocals

 

Dan is the front man, lead vocalist and creator of Strange Brew. He's an all-around great guy and a fabulous entertainer, in so many different areas... including music, business and athletics.


As a vocalist, he polished his craft in 1995 with the inception of Strange Brew - taking center stage, and loving every minute of it. But over the years, he also joined an Improv group in NYC, which was great fun... And he became a Team USA triathlete for 13 years, competing on the world stage. Dan represented the USA in 2011 in Beijing, China. He finished in sixth place in his age group - and was the first American to cross the finish line. He actually combines both worlds now, by performing the National Anthem at regional and national triathlon events.


And he accomplished all of that while growing Molloy LLC, as CEO of his own sales development company. You'll find more info about Dan's work on the links page. Meanwhile, recreating the vocals (as well as the look) of Eric Clapton has been a tall order, but he does it justice - and with a playful style.

 


 

 

Doreen Molloy

Vocals

 

Doreen manages the band and shares the stage with Dan on harmonies and lead vocals. She was also instrumental in developing Strange Brew, along side Dan back in the mid 1990's.


As a vocalist for many years, Doreen has performed with wedding bands doing top 40... she's done studio work with other musicians... and she also had a stint on the Spirit of New Jersey cruise ship back in the early 90's as the lead vocalist for a local band.


Doreen was a karaoke DJ for many years, so music has been a major part of her life over many decades. She's very comfortable on a mic... and was also a radio show host for 8 years on BBS Radio.


Doreen feels incredibly blessed to be able to work in the two fields that she loves the most. One of those is 'Music' which makes her heart happy...


And the other is within her private practice as a metaphysical practitioner, which has truly been her life's calling (and the reason why she's on the planet). You'll find more info about Doreen's work on the links page.

 

 

 

 

Mario Giampaglia

Lead Guitar & Vocals

 

Born in the Bronx, but now living in Manhattan, Mario has been playing guitar since he was 14.  His earliest influences were Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and of course, Eric Clapton.   He bought his first Stratocaster at Manny’s Music in 1974 after staring with desire at the back of the “Layla” album for a long, long time…


Mario has played in and around the tri-state area for years and has been onstage at B.B. Kings, The Cutting Room, The Apollo Theater, The Bitter End, and the Blue Note... to name just a few of the notable NYC venues.


When not rocking the house, Mario is an accomplished Creative Director and along the way in his career, has collaborated with talent agents to bring some high-end concerts (including E.C.) to corporate mega-events. 


He's jammed with Roomful of Blues, G.E. Smith (of SNL early days), singing onstage with the Temptations, and teaching an IT billionaire how to play John Fogerty songs (and meeting Fogerty in the process).


And we're very happy that he's joined the Brew!

 

 

 

 

Ron Hagen

Keyboards

 

Ron joined us in mid 2020, while all the venues were closed (due to Covid). When we were finally able to regroup again for a rehearsal in December, Ron had all of our arrangements down cold.


He didn't miss a beat!


During the 1980's and 1990's, Ron performed with a wedding band called 'The Main Event'... and more recently, he performed with the band 'The Buzz'.


Some musical influences were Deep Purple, Led Zep... and now, of course... Eric Clapton!


Welcome aboard, Ron...

 

 

 

 

Mike Smith

Lead Guitar

 

Mike also plays lead guitar for us... and he's quite an amazing guitarist. We were blown away the very first time he rehearsed with us... He played flawlessly - and fit right in!


Mike's been playing guitar since 1971... and some of his influences are: Clapton, Hendrix, Doors, Deep Purple, Queen, Zeppelin, Focus, Al DiMeola, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return To Forever.


Some of the bands he's performed with include
Jingo (a Santana tribute band)... Royal Dumonts (original tunes)... as well as with various other cover bands in NJ.


And we're thrilled to have him in the Brew!

 

 

 

 

Sean Francois

Bass Guitar

 

Sean is the young spunky one in the band (compared to the rest of us)... And man, can he rock the house on bass guitar!


He is an accomplished jazz bassist, originally from Illinois... but now lives and performs in the NY/NJ metro area. Having two musician parents, Sean was surrounded by music for his entire life and has been playing bass since the age of 9.


He played and recorded with many different performers and groups, including forming his own band, 'The Sean Francois Trio'.


Sean holds a Bachelor’s degree in music from Indiana University’s prestigious Jacobs School of Music.

 

 


 

 

"Rain Man"

aka: Ray Portante

Drums

 

Rain Man is fun... And he's a killer on drums.


Raymond Portante (aka: 'Rain Man') has been influenced by an eclectic group of drummers including, but not limited to, Buddy Rich, Ringo Starr, John Bonham, David Garibaldi, and Steve Gadd, drummers who exemplify the importance of “feel”, which is the most inherently necessary function of any drummer. 


His initial formal drum training began with a Rockland County, NY instructor named Nick Page.  Mr. Page was a product of the swing era and taught him how to 'drive' the music.  Luckily enough, while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, he had the opportunity to study with Gary Chaffee, head of the percussion department.  It was while studying with Mr. Chaffee that he began to dig deep into the 'soul of drumming'. 


After leaving Berklee, he attended  'the school of hard knocks'.  West 30th in Manhattan was littered with recording studios.  It was there that he really began to understand the 'art' of drumming.  While spending approximately 10 years recording various jingles, industrial films, state sponsored commercials, television ads, and artist demos he learned that oftentimes, especially when it pertains to drumming, less is more. He currently performs in the Bergen County/Rockland County area with his band 'The Unit' as well as performing with numerous other artists.

 

 

 



Danny Prete

Technical / Broadcast Director

 

Danny is the technical director and broadcast director for Strange Brew.


As the production manager, he's the guy in charge of the sound... the video... the lighting... and doing live broadcasts, like 'Facebook LIVE' - as well as live broadcasts on our 'YouTube' channel. Basically, Danny is the one who makes sure that everything runs the way it's supposed to behind the scenes.


He's also the Technology Coordinator Assistant for the New Milford Board of Education... and loves doing big show productions.

 

 



Past Performers

Below are a few other performers
who have either worked with us
over the past few years...
or may occasionally fill in.

 


John Prato

Rhythm Guitar

 


Dave Sansone

Keyboards

 


Dennis Palmer

Drums

 


Jeff Pines

Percussion

 


Donnie Piller

Bass
Guitar

 


Dave Grego

Bass Guitar

 

 

 

 

A Special Tribute to
Bill Moraites

 

   

 

It is with deep sadness, we share the news that our dear friend and bandmate, Bill Moraites passed away on May 9, 2021.  


Bill graced us with his friendly, playful personality... and was such an amazing lead guitarist - and a member of Strange Brew from 2019 to 2021. He never failed to blow us away with his passionate guitar leads... and we're so grateful for his contribution to 'The Clapton Project'. He worked hard to make us a better band... And he did that 'in spades'.


Everyone who knew Bill, loved him... and we all knew that his passion for music was unparalleled.  We feel so blessed to have shared the stage with such a 'monster talent' - and with someone who was such a good soul.


Heaven just got another one of the 'Good Ones'...
He will be sorely missed.

 

On behalf of all of the Strange Brew Band Members,
We send our Deepest Condolences
to the Moraites Family.

 

   


Rest in Peace, Bill...

 

 

 

 

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Dan Molloy  -:-  vocals
Doreen Molloy  -:-
 vocals

 Mike Smith  -:-  lead guitar
Mario Giampaglia  -:-
 lead guitar

Ray "Rainman" Portante  -:-  drums
Sean Francois  -:-  bass guitar
Ron Hagen  -:-  keyboards

 

 

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