The Players





-:-  Home  -:-   Bios  -:-  Set List  -:-  History  -:-  Links  -:-Media  -:-Photo Gallery  -:-  Dan the Man  -:-  Schedule  -:-  Booking  -:-  Life Stories



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.

 

 


Dan Molloy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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 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 also 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.

 


Doreen Molloy

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Mario Giampaglia
Lead Guitar

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!

 

Mario Giampaglia

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 



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 80's and 90's, Ron performed with a wedding band called 'The Main Event'... and more recently, with the band 'The Buzz'.

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

Welcome aboard, Ron...

 

 

 

 

Ron Hagen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 




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 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!

 


Mike Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Donnie Piller
Bass Guitar


Combine the bass playing of James Jamerson [Motown hitmaker] and Francis Rocco Prestia [Tower of Power], the vocal ability of Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson, and the harmonies of The Everly Brothers... Put them in a blender and that’s Donnie.

Donnie’s earliest influence was his Uncle Burgher “Buddy” Jones, a well know jazz bass player.  Through his uncle, he learned to appreciate not only jazz, but R&B and Blues as well. Donnie evolved with the times as his other influences range from the swing era, the 'British Invasion', the advent of Motown, and eventually the second British Invasion.

Wedding bands, dance bands, disco bands, oldies groups, pop groups... You name it, Donnie did it.

Most recently, Donnie has been working with some NY/NJ based bands, most notably, “The Unit”, “The Motones”, and “Beauty and the Grease”. Donnie is also called upon to add his voice and/or bass playing to various studio projects. He's also lots of fun!


 

 

 

 

 


Donnie Piller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Pines
Percussion

 

Jeff is the musical director and percussionist for Strange Brew.

He is highly credentialed in the field of music, and has performed in everything from classical productions on Broadway... to playing percussion and/or drums in a rock and roll band.

Jeff is the 'technical guy'; he's the one with all the music sheets (unlike the rest of us)... and he does a great job coordinating our musical repertoire.

 

Jeff Pines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




"Rain Man"
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.


 



"Rain Man"
aka: Raymond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Honorable Mention"

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


 


Sean Francios
Bass Guitar

 

Dave Sansone
Keyboards

 

Dennis Palmer
Drums

 

John Prato
Rhythm 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...

 
-:-  Home  -:-   Bios  -:-  Set List  -:-  History  -:-  Links  -:- Media  -:- Photo Gallery  -:-  Dan the Man  -:-  Schedule  -:-  Booking  -:-  Life Stories  -:-

 

 

 

 

 


Follow us:

       

Contact Us: 201-298-4032

 


Dan Molloy, vocals  &  Doreen Molloy, vocals

     -:- Mike Smith, lead guitar  Mario Giampaglia, lead guitar -:-
-:- Ray "Rainman" Portante, drums -:- Donnie Piller, bass -:- Ron Hagen, keys -:- Jeff Pines, percussion -:-