Diana Rein, also known as the Six-String Siren, made some very big waves both in print and radio with the release of last year’s critically-praised CD, Long Run. Recently, The Los Angeles-based blues-rock musician launched her One-Woman Tour with a string of high-profile dates, including two shows in November where she’ll open for legendary blues guitarist, Beverly ‘Guitar’ Watkins. Indie Go Rock recently chatted with Miss Rein for our “5 Quick Questions” series.
IGR: You have a few shows coming up where you’ll be opening for one of your heroes, Beverly ‘Guitar’ Watkins. What significance does that hold for you?
DR: I remember finding a video of Miss Beverly a few years ago on Facebook. And one thing struck me. She said “I don’t think old. And when I get onstage I don’t act old. Music. This is me.” Then I found out that this wonderful woman has had so many challenges from a heart attack to lung cancer to an aneurysm and she keeps on going. At the time, I was going through health challenges myself and wondered if I would ever break free and be able to play live. She was my source for inspiration and helped me see the possibilities. She has a lot of patience and faith and I think we can all learn from that.
IGR: he Diana Rein One-Woman Tour is now in full swing. How has that been going so far?
DR: I feel very happy to be able to control how things are going and be my own boss. I love the fact that I can tailor the type of gigs that I play to my needs and my lifestyle right now. As the Mom of a five-year-old, I love being able to do gigs where he can be present and get indoctrinated into the world of music by experience. He may never be a musician, but I sure want him to appreciate it. I went through a period of time where I was more focused on how I wanted to present my one woman show and all of the tools I would need to get it right. That was a nine-month journey. Since that is finally figured out, I am in a very open mode for gigs and very excited for the shows and opportunities that are coming my way. I am in a very “yes” mode to get out there and play! And I am proud of myself for coming this far and having the patience to get it right.
IGR: NAMM, the Holy Grain for musicians, is coming up soon. What do you hope to accomplish this year there, assuming you’ll be attending like you did the last few years?
DR: Well, I was sick last year and so was my husband so although we were there, it seems like we were in our hotel room more just trying to get some rest. This year, I hope to experience day NAMM as well as night NAMM where I am told the party’s and performances are a great time! For me being there feels like Disneyland so I am very excited to see all of the new products that are coming out on the market, and of course I would like to check out Fender and all of their custom shop models. I would love to get on Fender’s radar seeing as my two main guitars are Strats (Fender Stratocasters). I also play their amps. I have gotten approached to be endorsed by a few guitar companies, but I am so particular about how I want the neck to feel and the guitar to look and sound…Fender just has the perfect package for me.
IGR: Have you written any cool new songs lately?
DR: I have a bunch of new songs that I will be working on finishing recording before the end of the year in order to release my next album in 2018. It’s the perfect time to get them done. I still haven’t decided if I will release them as singles or as an album. I am a bit old school in that it’s really hard for me to let go of the album mentality. I know that Streaming is huge, and people love singles and Spotify, etc. But having a body of work is so sentimental to me. It’s hard for me to part with that. But I am eager to release these songs. Some of them I have already played live which I love. But it almost feels like I can’t move on if I don’t release these. So, I will be working hard so that I can finish these and then work hard again on something else! It’s a labor of love and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s the reason why I wake up every day!
IGR: What does 2018 hold in store for Diana Rein, as it stands now?
DR: Live, Live and more Live Shows! And a release of my third album. That should keep me darn busy. And once that is done, I will be writing new material and creating. I never want to stop creating and I won’t. Just like Beverly ‘Guitar’ Watkins, I will be a guitar-playing grandma and I will never stop studying and playing my guitar. And hopefully I will get to do some more shows with Beverly. Playing the guitar is at the top of my list for being one of my biggest joys in life so I hope that 2018 finds me doing a lot of playing and sharing of my music.
(See Diana Rein live in concert at Prescott Center for the Arts in Prescott, AZ on Saturday, November 11; and at The Rhythm Room in Phoenix, AZon Sunday, November 12. For both shows she will be opening for Beverly ‘Guitar’ Watkins and the R.D. Olson Band. Other gigs, additional info. at www.dianarein.com).