Astra sings and performs the vocals and instruments you hear: lead and backing vocals, lead, rhythm and bass guitars, percussion and keyboards. JOURNALISTS' REVIEWS: "The ASTRA CD is a pure marvel - I really love this music. The guitar work is sheer musical audacity - how does she do it !" Yves Frayssinet, Bandleader & Guitarist, Hors Série Rock Show Band ; & the Frayssinet Jazz Combo. 'Astra is a virtuoso lead guitarist.' Laurence Jackson, Journalist, London, England. 'Great songs that stay in your mind. Fascinating and moving lyrics, versatility of style.' Nicholas Pirson, D.J., Radio Panach France. 'Astra plays supremely good lead guitar. Harmonic-melodic music with irresistible rhythm - a real pleasure to listen to.' Christa Neckermann, Journalist, Bremen, Germany. 'Astra has an outstanding voice.' Ralf Sommermann, Dissen Skurril Stadtfest, Germany. 'I am very impressed by the high level of musicianship.' Gareth Leslie, Singer/Guitarist, Recording Artist. 'How could one not feel moved on hearing Astra's bewitching solos. All put together just right with jazzy-rock ingredients and touches of folk.' Pascal Isch, L'Est Républicain. France. 'Very enjoyable; lots of rhythm, melody, harmony and élan.' Peter Koetzing, Harsefeld Aktuell, Germany. 'A colourful tapestry of sound. Great music.' Wulf Görres, owner, MacLeod's Live Music Club & drummer with the Iain Cusick Band, Drochtersen, Germany. 'Just a few bars into the first song, and the audience in the Rössl Live Music Club could not resist moving to the rhythm.' Hauke Mormann, Journalist, Brunsbütteler Rundschau, Germany. 'The audience was bewitched. The concert promoter had concocted a mystifying potion: rock, pop, ballads, and mood music.' Grégory Engelbert, Le Républicain Lorrain, France. MEET ASTRA ! by Laurence Jackson, MA., London & Palma. To quote from Astra's song, Funky Tink Tank, which some say is about the legendary Jamaican guru on Jungo Mountain... 'John Gomerry say 'whadya know'.' Astra was born in Brighton, on the south coast of England, into a pro music family. Always on the move with their gigs, she lived first in the South of England, then the East, and then Wales, in Tyn Llechwedd, which means 'the little house on the hill.' There, as a kid living within sight of Mount Snowden, land of kites, eagles and beautiful valleys, Astra got her first Gibson guitar and wrote her first songs. Currently based in France near Le Mans (famed for the 24-hour car endurance race and inspiration for the play-on-words which is the CD Album's title), Astra records the songs and instrumentals she has composed, with the song lyrics mostly written by another member of the family, the album's co-producer Kenn d'Oudney. Playing her music with a group at over 450 live concerts, it has been enthusiastically received by audiences and journalists in France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Drawing on this experience of playing live, Astra has recorded the songs, creating and performing all the music, the parts, singing the songs, the harmonies and vocal group backing, and playing all the various instruments herself: lead guitar, riff and rhythm electric and acoustic six and twelve-string guitars, bass, keyboards, organ, synth, and percussion. She gives you the whole group and orchestra - in this CD, Astra is the group ! Like me, you will find it's utterly inspiring ! Astra's tastes in music are wide but based deep in rock. This is reflected in the eclectic variety of styles of her songs and group-type arrangements of vocal and instrumental backing, which befit inclusion in many music categories, such as: new music, rock, pop-rock, theme and mood music instrumentals, ballads, blues-rock, ethnic and world music. In listening to Astra's music, you are taken through many moods, to different places in your imagination, and always with an accompanying emotion: tenderness, humour, alarm, anger, shock, laughter, love and tears - it's all there. You are drawn in to share her world with her. Astra is a virtuoso guitarist. Taking her experience as a concert performer with her, Astra is in her element creating, singing, playing and producing in the recording studio. With the composer's gift expressed through instrumental expertise, she transforms abstract concepts into the entertainment we all love as the sound of songs and music. A Hamburg gig promoter calls this 'rock music for the thinking person.' You get everything you want in the way of beat: the guitars, drums, rhythms and percussion change from song to song and are irresistible. But also, when you listen to the backing - riffs from the bass, the variety of instrumental solos, the orchestral arrangements from synths, keyboards and organ, and the melodies which vary from catchy rock and pop tunes to bold, dramatic themes which swell, dip, build, and carry you onward - you will see exactly what he means. Above all, you hear Astra's great vocals which vary sensitively according to the differing moods of the songs, in combination with her lead guitar. This is wonderful entertainment; music you want to hear over and over. Astra is never happier than when creating and playing what she calls 'real, hand-made music.' You and I will get years of enjoyment out of it. Laurence Jackson, MA. London & Palma.