Diana Rein – Queen Of My Castle | Album Review

Diana Rein – Queen Of My Castle

Gulf Coast Records


CD: 15 Songs, 59 Minutes

Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues Rock, All Original Songs

In one of her hit songs, blues maven Laurie Morvan asks, “Where are the girls with guitars?” Enter Diana Rein, a Romanian stunner whose parents escaped the country in 1981. She was only three back then, but the die had been cast for her blues career. On Queen Of My Castle, Diana reigns with an electric shredder as her scepter. Her riffs are royal, her solos sensational, and her musical presence that of future blues nobility. Diana’s voice is fresh and youthful, her cords and chords as yet unseasoned by hardships that toughen others. Janis Joplin fans, search elsewhere. “Lilting,” “lovely” and “lively” are three adjectives that describe Rein’s vocal vein. As for her overall style, she presents a choice variety of fifteen original tracks – love songs, angst songs, even one or two gritty growlers. Long car or truck trip ahead for you? This CD’s the ticket.

Once they reached the United States, Diana and her family landed in Chicago, on Halloween, with only $50 and the American Dream in mind. She brought her native work ethic to performing arts school, where tireless effort led to her talents flourishing. Remember Kevin McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2 (who could forget him)? She played his cousin Sondra. Her love of the blues blossomed at age eight, when her parents brought her to a Windy City blues club and encouraged her to play some numbers with the band. The rest is history. She followed her heart to California, where it was repeatedly broken and mended – the creative forge of blues music. At one point where she almost lost hope, Diana promised to make music her life’s work and grab the proverbial bull by the horns. The blues world is far better for it.

Joining Diana (writer, co-producer, lead and background vocals, lead guitar and rhythm guitar) are producer/arranger/writer Michael Leasure on drums; Dave Osti on bass; Drake Munkihaid Shining on keyboards, and Steve Polacek, Vaughn Polacek, Lincoln Clapp, Melissa Bonning, Julia Clapp and Mackenzie Clapp on background vocals.

Right off the bat, Diana proclaims “Yes I Sing the Blues,” in a perky tune channeling SRV to marvelous effect. “Midnight Line” is a riveting rocker that’ll make crowds want to dance, drink, or both at the same time. They’ll sing along to the title track, especially if they need to kick a certain joker in their lives to the curb. “I’m the queen of my castle,” Rein retorts, “and you’ll never be king!” A bit later on, dig the intro to “One Foot In.” It’s bouncy and boisterous. If you love a funky bassline, take a gamble and ramble to number eight, “It’s You.” Dave Osti gets to strut his stuff. “Chill of the Night” urges one to hold one’s partner close, especially in snowy weather. Ditch “Winter Wonderland” for once and give this sweet ditty a try.  Afterwards, though? “Worth” packs a wallop, with its opening lyrics being, “It’s a big man’s world under lock and key. Trying to make the time and keep your sanity.” Truer words were never spoken. “Heat” is a blistering Hendrix-style burner, and “Zoe” a perfect specimen of melodic blues.

Diana Rein is a rising star, a ruling Queen Of My Castle!

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