The newly released Birdcage Theatre is the fourth solo album this decade by Mick Charles (a.k.a. Mike Donatowicz). This time around there's a noticable nod given to early American Rock and Roll and his earliest influences. Featuring some distinct harmonies from the legendary Memphis Bel-Airs, Mick brings to life material that sounds as new as it does familiar and comforting.
Back in the late 1970's, Mick was a founding member of local band The Bunch. Along with Dennis Cieslak, Joe Costanzo, and Jim Cleary, Mick and The Bunch tooled around town playing for anyone who would listen. Their unique approach of playing only what they themselves wrote was a rarity in the bar band world of cover tunes. Writing and recording became the focus of The Bunch as well as it's downfall. Other versions of The Bunch went on to some success, adding various members like Larry Surleta, Al Savoia and Eddie Lorek, but by the late 1980's The Bunch was no more.
In the mid 1990's, Mick decided to go "solo" and went back to writing and recording releasing the albums "...And We Say Alright" in 1998, "Snoremask" in 2001, "An Unkindness of Ravens" in 2003, and "At Both Ends of the Road" in 2007. With each new project Mick took on the challenge of keeping himself and listeners interested by changing styles and infusing folk, country, and even blues into his past heavy British influences.
Midwest born and raised, Mick continues to live and work near his "hometown" of Chicago. Over the past decade he has included painting, folk art and abstract sculpturing to his ever growing list of self imposed challenges. You can learn more and contact Mick directly through his website at www.mickcharles.com
Remember, always be listening!