When you met someone who is pure light, you know it – a feeling of open warmth washes over you. If you’ve been around the Portland music scene for a while, you’ve likely met or heard the exuberant, Roots Rock’in songstress Reina Collins and know what I’m talking about.
I remember the first time I heard Reina (Ray-na). I was working with local Americana rocker Paula Sinclair on her CD Release of “The Good Horse.” We were at the CD Release Party at Vino Vixens a couple years ago and Reina (along with Kate Mann) joined Paula for the event. As I listened to Reina I felt like I was on a journey with her. In part, it was lyrical but in large part it was watching her flow on stage, in body, voice and energy.
So, I got my hands on her CD. The song that hooked me off her most recent CD “Austin to Boston” is one called Songs I Haven’t Sung, where she sings about “Roseburg in her rearview mirror” and the nuances of being on a big roadtrip — I think I can actually feel the wind when I hear it. Then there is Mae Belle Road, a tale of honoring a love that has past; and Ruby, another favorite about the beauty of a stripper; and one with so much inspiration of what lies ahead Keep Your Heart Fed…ah, there are so many! Really, the entire album is gold.
Have a listen at Reina’s MySpace. Buy the CD, support Reina’s music and trust me that you’ll own the perfect rock’in roadtrip tunes for summer travels, or for just kick’in back with a margarita in the backyard. Her voice travels time, the music lays down some serious rhythm and you feel like your are moving through genres into a very unique convergence of just damn good music. Don’t believe me? Read some great reviews click here.
Reina has recorded two other CDs: “Even if I Fall” with Portland songwriter extraordinaire Rob Barteletti and her maiden CD “Kitchen Sink.” Truly, I don’t know why I haven’t bought these yet, but I will. She is currently recording a new CD in Nashville with Phil Madeira – I can hardly wait!
Everyone knows Reina. Unless you’ve been under a rock or not tapped into the local music scene, certainly you’ve crossed paths with her or something she has been involved with. A true PDX music gem, Reina has played absolutely everywhere. Along with her Reina Collins Band gigs, she regularly partners with other local musicians on stage or as part of an evening, like Paula Sinclair, Pilar French, Kate Mann, Wayne Richards & Southern Nights and many, many others. With her heart of gold in giving to the music community and others, Reina has been an integral part of launching two major Portland female focused music ventures: Women Who Rock and the now enormous Siren Nation Music and Arts Festival.
I have another, more personal, illustration of Reina’s generous heart. I recently attended the “Shaker’s Ball” — an annual benefit for Parkinson ’s disease, coordinated by Rob Barteletti at the Kennedy School – with my two sons. Reina came to them and shared some very kind words about me. It often feels like I live two lives, betwixt Portland Arts promoter and Motherhood in Suburbia, my kiddos don’t always see both, so her words to them went a long way to ford that river.
To listen to her music you’ll hear that Reina is a Free Spirit. She has lived and toured all over the country. With family in Florida, at one time owning a music store in Wyoming, living in California and now Oregon, at the end of the summer, it will be time Reina to continue her journey back toward her roots in Florida.
We aren’t ready to say goodbye to Reina yet, she has a full summer of concerts to catch — listed below. Particularly if you haven’t seen her perform, I hope you take the opportunity to see her music in motion!
Friday June 13 Biddy McGraws
Reina Collins Band, Matt Cadenelli of Don of Division Street & James Sasser Band. Three Acts, No Cover. It’s the Reina Collins Band debut. Jeff Porter, Eric Kotila, Nick Foltz & Jeff Grauzer. Yes, we’ll be rockin’.
6000 NE Glisan. Music starts at 9pm. We’re playing 2nd.
Saturday June 14 Gresham Farmer’s Market
I’ll be harmonzing with Wayne Richards & Southern Nights.
Located on Miller Street at 3rd in historic downtown Gresham. 10am. Free.
Thursday June 18 McMenamins Sand Trap
It’s the Portland Rockwriter’s Tour with Pilar French & Josh Slamp (and Eric Kotila & Jeff Koch). Pilar, Josh & I share the night!
1157 N. Marion Ave., Gearhart, OR. 7-9pm. Free.
Friday June 20 San Dune Pub
2nd Night of Portland Rockwriter’s Tour!
127 Laneda Ave., Manzanita, OR. 9pm-Midnight. $5 cover.
Thursday June 25 McMenamins Edgefield (Little Red Shed)
And it’s one more Portland Rockwriter’s Night!
2126 S.W. Halsey St., Troutdale, OR. 6pm. Free.
Saturday June 27 Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts
I’ll be harmonizing with Wayne Richards & Southern Nights.
368 S. State St, Lake Oswego, OR. 4pm. Free.