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Malec: Living the ‘Dream’

Mark Malec will release ‘Dreaming Of Love,’ his first solo album, next month.

When Mark Malec releases “Dreaming Of Love” at the end of February, it will represent quite an accomplishment.

Malec, a singer and guitarist, who has played in many successful bands in the region for 40 years, including the New York Times Band, has always been a sideman.

Not anymore.

The 10-track album, recorded at McCrindle Building Studios in Mountain Top and produced by Jody Busch, marks the first solo record put out by Malec. It will signify the beginning of his own record label, KASM Records. And “Dreaming Of Love” will let listeners in on the ups and downs of Malec’s life — love found, love lost and sorrows that could only be expressed through music.

The reason for Malec waiting so long to write songs?

“I never had the inspiration,” he said.

That was until he fell for a woman that became his muse. Spurred by the newfound love, Malec began writing songs. And when “the relationship fell apart,” he said, he continued to write love songs, albeit ones of a sadder nature, such as “I Don’t Wanna Have A Broken Heart.”

Malec played all of the instruments on “Dreaming Of Love”; the drums were done electronically. Working on his own music for the first time, he credited longtime friend Busch for helping him realize the album’s potential.

“I guess he’s known my ability over the years,” Malec said. “A lot of people did, except for me.”

In addition to the romantic ups and downs, Malec has had to endure some much more serious setbacks.

In 1999, his second wife died. Later, his 17-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. His granddaughter was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.

“I was out of it for a long time, and I found music to be a solace,” Malec said. “The real center of my life is the music.”

The record label’s name, KASM, is an acronym which comes from the first letter of Malec’s four daughters’ names.

Malec, from Bridgeport, Conn., moved to Northeastern Pennsylvania in the late 1960s. Like many musicians of any generation or genre, he grew up listening to The Beatles — “to me, the greatest writers of love songs” — and has a strong r&b undercurrent in his music as well. Beginning in 1974, he played in the Thompson Street Band, a group that did “black music.”

Malec also played in the Heart Beat Oldies Band, a group called Motion and worked with Marty Edwards.

With the album ready to see the light of day, Malec hopes and predicts that listeners will connect with the music and lyrics.

That’s not the primary intent of the project, however.

“I did this for me,” he said. “I didn’t do it for any other person but me.”

Malec, who performs regularly in a combo at Amore in Chinchilla, is putting together a band to play live shows once “Dreaming Of Love” is released. He plans to celebrate the album’s completion with an invite-only CD-release party.

Malec already has plans for a follow-up album of country material, a bit of a departure from “Dreaming Of Love.” Whatever either project yields, however, Malec is a man and a musician who has already tasted solo success, simply through the process of writing his own songs and recording them.

“If nothing comes of this, I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had,” Malec said. “It’s not where I want to be, it’s where I have to be. Life’s too short.”

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“I was out of it for a long time, and I found music

to be a solace. The real center of my life is the music.”

Mark Malec
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