IndiePulse Reviews: Queen Of My Castle, latest album by Blues Artist Diana Rein
Blues Artist Diana Rein will release her new studio album Queen Of My Castle on June 21st , this album is the follow-up to her 2016 release Long Road which was lauded as one of the best releases in the Blues Music scene here in the United States and abroad.
Queen of My Castle was coproduced by Michael Leasure (drummer Walter Trout Band) and mixed by Lincoln Clapp (who previously mixed Texas Flood by Stevie Ray Vaughan, one of Diana’s biggest influences). The new album is a collection of fifteen songs, one of which is a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Track after track, Queen of My Castle is akin to the story of the artists life and times, a musical autobiography, starting with the song “Yes I Sing the Blues” telling of how the blues became part of her world, her inspiration and her dream. She tells her story with a modern twist on the blues and plays lead guitar in the Texas Blues vein. Next is “The Midnight Line” which is a raw and scorching number about a clandestine meeting on a train between two people. “We can ride and ride in sin for the rest of our lives…”
The title song “Queen of My Castle” is a fun and frisky track, a seductive romp and has an almost burlesque feel. “I Can’t Quit You” The song touches on addiction and being lost in someone so much that you just can’t let go. What blues album does not have songs of love gone wrong, “One Foot In” addresses and unfaithful heart.
“Walking Along” has a pop / rock infused sound, full of a flamboyant pounce, a woman knows what she wants. The song “Pure Soul” is Diana’s homage to her inspiration and has been dubbed a love letter to Stevie Ray Vaughan and his legacy. The fiery guitar solo, chock full of fuzz, gives the boost and power that is very appropriate for a song about the mega guitar hero. “It’s You” is a big bouncy and bass filled song with a steady beat that drives on into the night.
The song “My Love” takes you back to another time, romantic and sultry, again, I feel Diana brings her own special take on blues and its emotional power to make the heart all a flutter. “Get Down”, to me, is more of a pop / dance rock track, I can hear the blues foundation, but it really has more of a dance feel, and could be considered really a crossover hit in the top 40 world. “Chill of the Night”, has a Nashville Blues sound, harkening back to the country influences, and also the early blues greats.
“Worth”, steps up the tempo, and also is a statement. In an interview we did with Diana a while ago, we addressed how it may be hard for a woman with such obvious talent break into a music scene dominated by men, in the lyric “It’s a big man’s world, under lock and key, try to make the climb and keep your sanity.” We see this is her answer, and she is kicking ass and making her stand. “Time’s Ticking Away” is a positive song about loving and caring about one another. It starts off with a rock feel and is nothing short of inspirational to remember the important things in life. “Heat” is Blues Rock at its finest with an indelible guitar riff that keeps stomping. The lyrics and vocals are dirty and gritty, same goes with the lead guitar that packs a huge punch. A very anthemic chorus rounds it out to make this song a big winner. The one Instrumental song on the album, “Zoe”, about a lost loved one ends the album on a beautiful note. The melody of the song will embed itself into your soul and stir up heartfelt memories that just won’t stay buried.
There’s nothing traditional about Blues artist Diana Rein. Diana’s parents escaped communist Romania in 1981 when she was 3 years old. They arrived in Chicago, on Halloween with only $50 and a dream for a better life. Diana brought her family’s strong Romanian work ethic to performing arts school, where her talents flourished, eventually leading her to a role in the classic American 90’s comedy “Home Alone”. Diana’s love of Blues started at 8, when her parents brought her to a Chicago Blues Club, arranging to have her perform some songs with the band. This was a defining moment. A blues artist was born.
Over the years, Diana’s music heroes and influences emerged: SRV, Prince, and Philip Sayce to name a few. But it all started back in Chicago, the home of amazing Blues legends like Buddy Guy. Diana followed her heart to California, where it would be broken repeatedly and made stronger each time. With experience came strength, self-reliance and plenty of songwriting material. At one point when hope was slipping away, Diana promised to make music her life’s work and grabbed the reins on her songwriting and guitar playing. Music never stopped knocking and Diana is glad she finally swung the door wide open and let it in. So are her fans. Today Diana calls Southern California home, where she continues to release original music and play what feels good for anyone who will listen
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