In the mid 1980’s Stevie Ray Vaughn turned the blues on its head by injecting the genre with a huge dose of rock. It completely revolutionized the concept of the blues, and his work was (and remains to this day) a tremendous influence on guitar players worldwide. Today, players such as Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Walter Trout and Joe Bonamassa continue on the path that Stevie Ray blazed.
Diana Rein may not be as well-known to the general public as the guitarists listed above, but if there’s any justice in the music world the release of her album Queen of My Castle should change that. The blues/rock world has already taken notice, as the album was co-produced by Mike Leasure (drummer for Walter Trout) and Lincoln Clapp (who mixed the Texas Flood album for Stevie Ray Vaughn).
There are 15 tracks on Queen of My Castle, and Rein’s guitar work absolutely explodes on each one of them. Listen to Worth: The lead fills on the verses are inspiring enough, but when the solo break kicks in Rein reaches the stratosphere with her playing. Midnight Line shows off her Stevie Ray-like rhythm chops in a big way. My Love allows Rein the opportunity to exhibit her musical versatility and knowledge by shifting to flowing Carlos Santana-like guitar solos.
I Can’t Quit You Baby is a classic 12-bar blues song because…what would blues/rock be without the blues, right? On the flip side Get Down is about as far from the blues as one could get. It’s a fun, rocking number that Rein spices up with a wah-wah solo. Heat is a take in another direction completely. Heavy distorted rhythm guitar, even heavier solos reminiscent of something Jimi Hendrix would play. Zoe is a sweet melodic instrumental track where Rein lets everything fly, alternating between clean and dirty guitar tone, showing her mastery of the instrument and proving she’s worthy of wide recognition and respect.
It’s always fun to discover a new recording artist. Anyone who’s a fan of blues/rock, anyone who gets off on listening to great guitar players really should check out this album. You’ll be in for a treat.