"This CD gives me tremendous hope for the music industry. I love this one. Every moment." - a fan from Amazon.com
This CD was created in a frenzy of creative spirit. For one entire week, the musicians lived and cooked and played together in a spectacular studio built in a log cabin overlooking the Snohomish River. From 9am to 4am every day and night, new ideas brewed and were caught on tape. It was a transporting experience that you can hear in every song.
Highlights are the previously unrecorded Bobs classic "Baseball"; the inspiring "Oh, My Wings" (later sung in front of 100,000 people at the Millennium March in Washington D.C.); and an achingly beautiful reworking of the Talking Heads' "This Must Be the Place (naive Melody)".
The Power of a Hat was produced by Kent Sparling (who mixed the phenomenally successful films "Adaptation" and "Lost in Translation"). The band, besides Gunnar on piano, vocals and acoustic guitar, features: Toby Hawkins on Drums and percussion (Counting Crows, Sordid Humour); Lucio Menegon on Electric Guitars (Ramona the Pest); Chuck Deardorf on Basses (Airto, Jovino Santos); and San Francisco's The Birdwatchers on backing vocals.
Who is Gunnar?
Gunnar Madsen is an award-winning composer, singer, writer, filmmaker and actor. As the founder and creator of the nu-wave a capella super group The Bobs, Madsen fractured and re-constructed the rules for popular music. His solo efforts have yielded critically acclaimed albums across dramatically different genres. Deftly weaving elements of storytelling and theatricality, Madsen's live performance continues his exploration of classical, pop and children's music grounded in simple, beautiful, passionate singing. "Eccentric"..."a cappella"..."wacky"..."brilliantly inventive"..."contemporary instrumental" "quirky"..."off-beat"..."kids"..."contemporary pop-rock"...Whether the music touches your soul or hits a nerve, Madsen is one of the most compelling contemporary songwriters, composers, and performers lighting up the stage today.
He has received commissions from Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles Theater Center, the Minnesota Opera, Oberlin Dance Collective, ISO Dance Theater, National Public Radio and many others. His music is featured throughout the 2nd season of Sex and the City, and in the films Just a Kiss, Breaking the Rules and A Special Providence. He is a featured performer on the soundtrack of "At Play in the Fields of the Lord," in the National Geographic Special "Asteroids: Deadly Impact," and is the emotionally charged voice of Sammy Davis, Jr. in the Emmy-award winning HBO film, "The Rat Pack." Gunnar's work is also on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution (video clips from the mind-bending collaboration between The Bobs and Iso).
Spanning almost 20 years, Madsen's musical career has constantly pushed the boundaries. He steps out of stereotypes - even the ones he himself helped to create. After 10 years on the road with The Bobs singing 4 and 5 part harmonies without instruments, Madsen's first solo album, Spinning World, 13 Ways of Looking at a Waltz was a stunning collection of lovely waltzes, and was made popular when licensed for use throughout HBO's "Sex and the City". Released concurrently with Spinning World, Madsen's second solo effort, The Power of a Hat, ("David Byrne-meets-Rinde Eckert art-pop" SFBG) charted on rock and college radio. With the release of his family CDs, the award-winning Old Mr. Mackle Hackle and Ants in My Pants!, Madsen once again shed any preconceptions, and turned his creative and versatile musical vision to work for children.
Gunnar's combined album sales total more than 150,000. A Bay Area native, Gunnar Madsen currently resides in Berkeley, CA where he continues his many music, theater, film and writing projects.