Hailing from Chicago, with a background from Eastern Europe, Diana Rein combines a soulful voice with the soaring melodies of her blues-rock guitar.
Long Road, released on May 16, is the latest album from Diana Rein. Rein proves herself multi-talented by not only writing, recording, and producing Long Road, she also sings and plays lead, bass, and rhythm guitars.
The album, which features twelve original tracks, was mixed and mastered by Peter Duff in San Diego.
The opening track, “Long Road,” starts with a haunting vocal before a slow blues melody kicks in creating warmth and depth, amidst clean guitar breaks interspersed with the vocal lines.
A small negative factor is the lack of feel that a human drummer often brings to a band. The intro to “Wild One” highlights this shortcoming to what is an otherwise terrific blues-rock riff. Rein’s lead guitar work is reminiscent of her stated primary influence, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan.
“Livin’ Loud” features a reverb-heavy guitar melody through the verse. After a pre-chorus and chorus that seems to be leading up to something huge, Rein takes us away on a jazz-blues flight of fantasy before working back to the core melody and rhythm of the song.
A tight staccato chorus line, punchy guitar work, and call and response vocals are the highlights of “Green Light” in which Rein’s solo takes us into a vocal workout where she pushes herself hard.
“Rebel with a Cause” is the most catchy track on the record, featuring tight riffs, a gritty guitar tone, tasty lead breaks, and a more natural feel to the drumming.
“The Real Thing” has an up-tempo feel, with the guitar riff mirrored by the tom-toms, and powerful lead vocals.
The album shows some consistent traits of melodic guitar riffs under a reverb-heavy lead guitar line. Rein’s strong vocal performance and her multi-instrumental talents are evident. This sound continues in “Done Me Dirty” before the feel reverts to the mellow ballad “Don’t Walk Away”.
Another great melodic riff with some funked-up vocals add to the impact of “Come Back Home,” and Rein again shows off her wide vocal range through the chorus.
The opening guitar work to “Wicked” is possibly the best on the record, and the song pushes through some incredible vocals and then turns into an insistent ballad with lovely solo work through to the close.
“Down Down Down” opens with a vocal/guitar intro before the main almost Motown-like beat of the verse. The highlight is a somewhat unruly rhythm guitar, which brings a sense of passion to the song.
The closing track, “Peace,” is a gentle instrumental number, with clean guitar work that brings a dream-like quality to the song.
While Rein plays and sings with passion on the album, it would be interesting to see her perform live with a full band. Such a setting may give us the chance to hear her rip loose with her voice and experience her potential for playing the blues as only a live show will allow.