With the additions of August Zadra and Craig Carter the sound the look and the
spirit of the new band has reached heights I could have only dreamed of. This
has begun stage two of my solo live performance career.
I began stage one of these solo journeys some 10 years ago with an out of the
blue offer from Tim Orchard to put together an orchestra show for a single concert
at the Rosemont Theater in 2000. I enlisted a group of fine musicians I had worked
with several times in the past. There was no intention to create anything other
than a good show with rock band and orchestra. Dawn Feusi was brought in to sing
Styx harmony and perform selections from the Hunchback of Notre Dame as part
of a retrospective on my career. This included Styx, my solo rock work and Broadway.
Because of the success of this show I was chosen to be the pilot for the new
Public Television Soundstage program. "Dennis DeYoung and Friends" went
on to be the most lucrative pledge show for PBS from this series, pledging over
100 cities across the country raising over 2 million dollars in the process,
thanks to viewers like you. From this initial concept I began to get offers to
perform with and without the orchestra and simply kept the same band for both
shows. My set list consisted of the Styx songs that I had written and sung and
remained that way until January this year.
Hank Horton my bass player and high harmony singer informed me last fall that
he would be leaving the band to play in the pit orchestra for 100 Dalmatians,
so I was compelled to consider changes. As I searched for a bass player Craig
Carter was suggested and a demo was sent. "Great Caesars Ghost" was
it good. Not only could he play bass and sing lead but he was an accomplished
songwriter as well. So the search was over. Not so fast, late one night my son
woke me at 12:30 at night and told me to go down to the computer and check out
something he found on youtube. There was August Zadra singing Blue Collar Man
in a Styx tribute band, "Mother Of Pearl" are you kidding me. I knew
then and there it was time for action. Needless to say my son Matthew is still
in the will and may be receiving a slightly higher amount then my daughter CarrieAnn.
(Not really). August was so good at recreating a sound that both you and I have
come to love that I knew I must give this thing a shot. And what a shot it has
been to me personally. When we perform our new show the audience is ecstatic
for they're finally getting what they have wanted from the beginning and that's
ALL the songs they have come to know and appreciate. No longer would they have
to settle for less. Alleluia!
The new blood has given more responsibilities to Jimmy Leahey on lead guitar
and brothers and sister he's laying down guitar work that's both dazzling and
tasteful. Tom Sharpe has found the perfect balance between being true to John
Panozzo and modernization, without trying to over complicate. Good drumming should
always serve the song. John Blasucci continues to recreate layers of keyboards
that best remind us of the brilliance of the original keyboardist. (Sorry John
I couldn't help myself) These changes have also brought me back to the keys,
something that many of you have been wanting for some time. I must admit it has
been great fun reminding myself that I was the guy who invented that stuff and
The interaction between August and Jimmy both musically and in terms of stage
presence has made feel like I'm back in 1981 until I look in the mirror and wonder
how my dad has gotten into this band.
Special thanks to August for authenticating a vital part to our sound and to
Craig for the effortless high harmonies. (Remember dude as a rule I never hire
any band mate taller than me so practice the crouch). As always Suzanne sings
her heart and always has my back.
Finally if you haven't seen the new band I urge you to come out and take a look
see, you won't be disappointed.
July 29, 2010
August joined Dennis in 2010 on lead guitar and vocals. Since the age of 15,
guitar playing has been a passion that pulled August from Fairbanks, Alaska,
to Hollywood, California, where he attended and graduated from the Guitar Institute
of Technology. His roots are in classic rock and, while raising a family, he
chose to focus his musical talents on paying tribute to some of his greatest
inspirations. August has been a constant in the Los Angeles music scene for the
past 20 years, playing with a variety of bands and is often sought out as a guitarist/singer
collaborator for recording projects. His guitar playing was featured nationally
on VH-1 in a “You Rock With” segment, and he has performed with members
of Boston, the Gin Blossoms, and Poison. August is endorsed by Ernie Ball/Music
Man guitars, Splawn Amplification, Line
6, and GHS
isn’t living the dream on the road with Dennis DeYoung, August can be found
performing with his Journey tribute band, LIGHTS, and spending time with his
wife and daughters.
Please visit his official website.
New Jerseyan Jimmy Leahey joined Dennis in 2008 on lead guitar and vocals. Jim
has also toured and/or shared the stage with John Waite, Patti Smyth, Chris Cagle
(CMT), Alison Krauss, Glen Burtnik, Jill Rock Jones (Bad Boy South), Grammy award
winning DionneFarris and a host of others. Jim has appeared on Jay Leno, Good
Morning America, VH1 Classic, The Grand Ole Opry, the US open, the Radio Music
Awards and countless TV and radio stations. Jim's compositions and guitar playing
has been featured on network TV, Disney Channel, The History Channel and countless
cable programming. When off tour Jim enjoys his family, teaching and playing
in New Jersey with many friends and music greats.
Please visit his official website.
John joined Dennis in 2005 on keyboards. From artists like Richard Marx to Michael
Bolton, John Blasucci has made a living helping others share their music with
the world. As a composer, producer, programmer and pianist, John has racked up
a healthy discography that includes work with Celine Dion, Josh Groban and ‘N
Sync. A regular on the contemporary jazz circuit, John is a member of red hot
guitarist Nick Colionne’s band and co-author of four of Colionne’s
Top Ten hits. A third generation pianist, he learned to love his instrument by
listening to his father and grandfather play on the family piano. One of his
early musical influences was teacher Alan Swain, whom he began studying with
intensely during high school. John attended Northern Illinois University and
after touring Europe and the US, he came home to the Chicago jazz circuit. Other
work by John has included penning the Jewel Food Stores jingle, a song with the
London Symphony Orchestra in a PBS documentary and work on Mattel's Barbie Nutcracker
and Repunzel Suite movies. John is a Yamaha endorsed artist.
Please visit his official website.
Craig joined Dennis in 2010 on bass and vocals. He is a native of San Jose, CA.
He has a degree in music theory and youth education from Mid-America Christian
University in Oklahoma City. Craig now resides in Nashville and has extensive
studio and touring experience in Christian, Gospel, and Country music working
with artists including Cece Winans, Natalie Grant, Melinda Doolittle and Phil
Keaggy to name just a few. Craig has toured extensively throughout North America,
Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. He is currently working on a new solo cd project
title 10ft Tall where he showcases his wide range of talents including lead vocals,bass,
and acoustic guitar.
Michael was born in Queens NY and moved to Long Island when he was 8. He started playing drums at the age of 13 where he studied with teachers Todd Turkisher (David Byrne, Selena, Steve Via, Randy Coven, Little Richard) and the great drum ambassador, Dom Famularo. He played with Evolution, the National Touring Journey Tribute band for over 10 years from 2001-2011. He's also played with Pete Byrne (Naked Eyes), Jim Peterick (Survivor), Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob), Brooke St James (Tyketto, Yellow Brick Road), guitarist Joe Cefalu, and toured with Terry Broc (Kansas, Strange Ways, Giant) in support of his Diamond Blue album. He also recorded the Soul Salvation album and toured throughout North America and Europe from 2007-2010. From 2010-2016, he recorded and toured on drums and vocals with former Journey lead singer, Steve Augeri (Tyketto, Tall Stories), throughout North America, England, Trinidad and Puerto Rico. Since February of 2016 he has been touring with Dennis DeYoung.