Casey Crescenzo, the former keyboardist/vocalist for The Receiving End Of Sirens formed a new band in 2006, The Dear Hunter – along with Erick Serna and Luke and Sammy Dent. Their debut album, Act I: The Lake South The River North (Triple Crown Records) was written, performed and produced by Crescenzo with additional parts played by his family including Nick (drums), Phil (organ), and Judy (backup vocals), with Tom Neeson on trumpet, and Dan Nigro from As Tall As Lions on harmony vocals for the track “The Pimp And The Priest.”
Act 1 is a rock operetta in the vein of Pete Townshend’s Tommy, telling the story of a boy from birth into a disadvantaged life taking the songs through his journey as he tries to survive amidst lust, greed, and deceit until his untimely tragic death as a young man. The album is one that the more you listen to it, the more you get out of it and can appreciate Crescenzo’s artistry for blending hues of gospel and blues into the rock based sequences. Opening with a gospel-tinged a cappella number, “Ballesimo Del Fuoco” (Italian for beautiful fire) moves into the serial, "The Lake South," with a carnival-like melody in the trumpet verses for “City Escape” and some solemn bluesy keyboard themes on “1878.” Crescenzo’s supple vocals stretch, curve, plump up, and retract skillfully along the melodies, keeping the glossy movements satiny smooth. The vocal rises on the finale “The River North” motivate the acoustic guitar strums and piano vamp to escalate in succession, until they slowly decline to a somber gait on the outro, declaring the tragic death of the young man.