Queen of My Castle
Gulf Coast Records
Diana Rein is the daughter of Romanian immigrants who migrated here in 1981 when she was three years old. At the age of eight her parents brought her to a Chicago Blues Club where she fell in love with the music; her primary influence is Stevie Ray Vaughan. After moving to California she became a child actress and had roles in both 1990’s “Home Alone” and its sequel “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”.
Rein’s passion however was music and in 2005 she began to concentrate on songwriting and playing the guitar. She released her debut blues rock recording “The Back Room” in 2007. She credits Kelly Richey with helping her learn to play lead guitar. She didn’t follow up with another album until she released the well received “Long Road” in 2016.
“Queen of My Castle” is Rein’s third album and first for Mike Zito’s new label, Gulf Coast Records. All of the songs are written or co-written by Rein. The band heard includes Rein, all guitars and vocals; Drake Shining, keyboards; Dave Osti, bass; and producer, arranger and co-writer Michael Leasure (from The Walter Trout Band), drums.
Vocalist Rein opens with “Yes, I Sing the Blues” an autobiographical song about her introduction to the Blues, as her Texas styled guitar leads punctuate the lyrics. “The Midnight Line” is a train song about two lovers and their clandestine relationship “we can ride and ride in sin for the rest of our lives…” The title track is a shuffle about empowering women and the first song to receive airplay “I’m the queen of my castle and you’ll never be king”; the background singers complete the production.
“I Can’t Quit You” is a deep groove featuring the rhythm section about a relationship that is clearly an addiction. “One Foot In” is about being in an unfaithful relationship, featuring a fabulous guitar solo, “you got one foot in and one foot out the door”. The peppy “Walking Along” romps from start to finish with some great bass from Osti and another great solo from Rein.
“Pure Soul” is a song written for Stevie Ray. “It’s You” features drummer Leasure and guitarist Rein parrying; the background singers give the song a special “oldies” sound. “My Love” features an interesting Latin rhythm. “Get Down” features several short guitar solos including one with a wah-wah pedal.
“Chill of The Night” is a bluesy torch song featuring a beautiful organ solo from Shining. “Worth” contains the lyric “it’s a big man’s world…don’t question your worth” and it cooks. “Heat” is a classic rock sound “roll up your sleeves it’s about to get dirty”. The closer “Zoe” is a soulful killer guitar instrumental.
Rein is a distinctive vocalist with an appealing tenderness. Her original songwriting and guitar attack make her a blues rock artist well worth listening to.