Guiding Star is the debut solo album from the American singer and guitarist August Zadra and he is another of those most essential yet often unrecognised musicians who work frantically in the background to ensure the albums and tours of the more famous musicians are spectacular and hitch free. Zadra is a touring and recording member of Dennis DeYoung’s solo band and also featured on the Waiting For Monday album which was released on the Frontiers label in 2020. You can then add writing, touring and recording credits with the likes of Jeff Scott Soto (Sons Of Apollo, Talisman etc), )Jim Peterik (Survivor), Robin Zander (Cheap Trick) and Nuno Bettancourt (Extreme) so the man is obviously held in high regard.
As with so many Frontier’s projects the album is very much a work built upon the prodigious talents of Alessandro Del Vecchio and he plays bass, some rhythm guitar and keyboards as well as supplying backing vocals as well as producing it. Jelly Cardarelli plays the drums with a number of high profile guests adding key contributions with Jeff Scott Soto on backing vocals, Dennis DeYoung with a keyboard solo on Take My Hand, Jimmy Leahey playing acoustic guitars on A Matter of Yesterday, Andrea Seveso on rhythm guitar on Won’t Let Your Love Take Me Down and Martin Jepsen Andersen on rhythm guitars on Escape The Rain plus additional keyboards from Guillermo De Medio, Pete Alpenborg and Jan Akesson throughout the album.
Many of these musicians also contributed to the song writing process too with this being a very upbeat melodic rock album with plenty of slow burning ballads and anthemic stadium rockers. Get those cigarette lighters at the ready for when gigs get back up and running! Zadra has a beautiful and crystal clear voice perfectly suited to ballads in the same way that Michael Bolton once was but he also has the power to crank it all up when and where necessary. He also takes every opportunity possible to lay down some killer riffs and his solos are short, sweet and to the point so the boy can rock too. He is another of those multi-talented performers who flourishes and grows in the limelight and Guiding Star shows that he has the voice and guitar skills to step forward and command a stage. Given the musicians involved then it can hardly be a surprise that the vocal harmonies are divine making this a real masterclass for all aspiring singers. This is a thoroughly entertaining, well crafted and beautifully played solo album form a musician who deserves a higher profile and this album could very much be the vehicle to do so.
Guiding Star is a superior melodic rock album suffused with quality from a talented team and a singer and guitarist with so much to offer.
- Come Together (1:51)
- Nothing More To Say (5:54)
- Ship Of Fools (4:11)
- Come Back To Me (4:55)
- Escape The Rain (3:31)
- A Matter Of Yesterday (5:36)
- I’ll Meet You In Heaven (5:07)
- Take My Hand (4:04)
- Dream Of You (4:26)
- Won’t Let Your Love Take Me Down (3:28)
- Rise From The Fire (3:19)