Reina Collins
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Reina Collins


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I have had the pleasure of seeing Reina perform around the Portland area. What a voice! How she has slipped through the cracks and not found large scale success is a mystery. Her newest CD is unquestionably a treasure for the ear.

She wrote half the material which is lyrically intelligent and instrumentally first rate. At times she sings sensuously, other times a hard rockin' edge wants to break out. Always her voice is rich, soothing, strong and clear. I can understand every word!

Her covers include an outstanding remake of Joni Mitchell's Woodstock and a touching version of Richard Thompson's 1952 Vincent Black Lightning. Rob Barteletti's Sisters in Crime has a 60s surf sound which fits the story line and feel of the song. On that one Reina sings a duet with Portlander Paula Sinclair.

With all the ingredients necessary - beautiful voice, solid material, talented musicians - I hope Reina achieves much success with her career and this extremely enjoyable CD. - Amazon Review by J. Getting (hey, what can I say?)

What a great surprise! Reina is the real deal. Real talent, good songs and tasty production. In this age of packaging for who know's what, a gifted singer gives an inspired and convincing performance backed by talented players. Here's a feast for the discerning ear to devour.
- Jack McMahon

Reina and producer Ben Winship assembled the songs that highlight the veteran singer's clear voice and its range of style. Because her voice is at the forefront of all the songs, she sounds close to the listener, creating and intimacy between the singer and audience. Collins has a song for every mood and they all carry with them the earnestness of a woman singing about life.

Lauren M. Whaley
Jackson Hole News & Guide
Jackson, Wyoming
2004 - Jackson Hole News & Guide

This CD elevates Reina to the upper echelon of Portland’s elite stable of singer-songwriters. Already an accomplished songwriter, Reina has written her best music yet for this album. Of course, as we have come to expect, Reina’s vocals are what draw you into the songs to begin with.

Rob Barteletti
Portland, Oregon - Rob Barteletti, Songwriter & Music Companion

Her melodic voice is strong and striking, able to effortlessly sing a variety of material, blending together bits of country, rock, blues, and folk. She calls herself a “roots rockin’ songstress” and that’s a pretty apt description of her style. The new album highlights Reina’s original material, along with heartfelt covers of songs by Joni Mitchell, World Party, and Richard Thompson. Excellent stuff!
Don Gilliland
Bangkok Dazed All Things Asian Blog - Bangkok Dazed All Things Asian Blog

I’m not often a sit-still-and-be-reflective person – wish I was. But this CD makes me want to relax in a rocking chair (on some tunes I might be dancing in my mind), drink a glass of iced tea with lemon, and gaze across a country lake. It’s that rustic, crisp, and refreshing.

The vibrant title track of Even If I Fall grabbed me right away. Tony Furtado’s blissful dobro run gives way to Reina Collins’ rich voice. Nick Peets adds some campfire-smoky backing vocals on the chorus, as he does throughout the disc. Next, “Yonder Ship” is an upbeat narrative like a good Dolly Parton song. Reina’s sings like a woman who has earned life’s wisdom, and Furtado fires off another nifty dobro solo.

“Blue Sky” is one of Reina’s compositions, and it’s roadhouse-worthy. Terry Robb shreds on slide guitar, and Reina belts it out like she’s stalking the stage on a Saturday night. Later on the album, the driving “Big Ol’ House” would work even better if Reina cut loose (this one kind of reminds me of one of my guilty pleasures, Cher’s “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves.”)

On the other end of the vocal spectrum, she achingly sings the lines of “Honky-Tonk Band” in a way that is both vulnerable and knowing. It’s another roadhouse-worthy number, but in a cry-in-your-beer way, especially after you hear Bob Baker’s wailing fiddle.

I appreciate how Reina and songwriter Rob Barteletti (he penned 10 of the 15 tracks) steers clear of cliché even as he writes about common country/folk themes in numbers such as “Honky Tonk Band” and the catchy “Something Blue.”

On the beautifully simple “Too Costly Is Nothing.” Reina’s vocal is touching and sincere, and Nancy Ives contributes understated and moving cello playing. The hopeful “Whole New Way” is another pretty number, embellished by flourishes of piano (Peter Boe) and harmonica (Bart Ferguson).

Reina’s voice, sultry voice is such a powerful presence on the album, and “House on Fire” is one of her most emotional vocal performances. It especially hits home as I write this in the midst of our Florida drought. Paul Hirschman (who plays guitar throughout the CD) contributes tasty mandolin.

The sincere, earthy Even If I Fall is hook-filled folk rock – more folk than rock, with a nice dose of twang that adds to its considerable charm. - Muse's Muse Review by Chip Withrow

"Apparently it’s written in the stars that Reina G. Collins and Rob Barteletti somehow would meet, somewhere on this earth. Not world-shaking, but for music lovers their meeting is a gift from heaven. This fine gift bears the title "Even If I Fall" and it is the brilliant result of two class artists... Barteletti provides most of the song-writing for their venture and Collins does what she's always done: sing like a nightingale. The title number by itself justifies the purchase of this disc, but little pearls like "Cain's Lament," "Yonder Ship," "Honky-Tonk Band," "Too Costly is Nothing," and "Something Blue" reach unquestionably the same level. And that the bar remains high is thanks to the willing and impressive help from Tony Furtado, Terry Robb, Paul Hirschmann, Jeff Minnick, Bob Baker, Rob Busey, Nick Peets, and Bart Ferguson. Lovers of original Americana-roots-country-folkrock-newgrass, fine storytelling songs, and heavenly singing are hereby notified: Mandatory purchase! 4.5 stars out of 5" - Rootstime, Belgian Roots Music Website

Reina's voice reminds me of a mountain stream ... completely natural, and depending on the terrain, it can flow, sparkle, swirl or roar. She is a pro with a lot to offer. On stage she is an engaging performer and her rich tone and relaxed attitude make her my first call for studio work.

Ben Winship
Singer Songwriter, Producer
Victor, Idaho - Ben Winship, Songwriter-Producer

Portland based folk and roots singer/songwriter Reina Collins's third album seems, musically and spiritually, her most adventurous creation yet. Austin to Boston - inspired by the wanderlust of rambling around the United States on a solo road trip - is an epic of Kerouacian proportions. The album's silky title doesn't fully denote the 10,000 mile of road traveled, as Collins essentially made her way to all four corners of the States on the trip. Although she didn't have a guitar on her journey, the fervor of music remained with Collins. As a result, she found herself constantly composing verses, building melodies, and recording bits and pieces on a hand-held tape recorder; this would all eventually shape the six original tracks on the album. The remaining songs included in the record are covers that pay homage to notable predecessors such as Richard Thompson and Joni Mitchell.

Reina Collins's music has the carefree vibe you would expect from a flower child and avid traveler. All the while, Austin to Boston is filled with energy and a certain country twang that has me longing to catch a live show and experience Collins's “Hair Flinging and Booty Shaking.” The album's collective of uber-talented musicians is highlighted by her long-time musical partner Hal Gerard, but the addition of elements such as Tim Ellis's mandolin elevates it from the average big band collaborative. The lyrical content is down to earth with an optimistic feel, refreshing in a era of music littered with depressive self-loathers. I'm hereby starting the rumor that her vocal talent must be derived from the classic mythological Sirens, as the unparalleled songstress combines Patti Smith's soulfulness, the sincerity of Sarah McLachlan, and a hint of Emmylou Harris's country sensibilities. She can easily stand alongside the most noted contemporary female singer/songwriters of our day. What's truly fascinating, however, is her versatility; Austin to Boston is only one facet of her vast musical repertoire. You'll also find her doing mellowed out acoustic sets with Gerard as well as rounding out the Portland based female trio, Sisters in Crime.
- by Trevor Dye


Saltwater Soul - 2010

Austin to Boston - 2008

Even If I Fall - 2006

Kitchen Sink - 2003



Reina Collins brings a lifetime of living and loving to her big voiced, big hearted performance. Whether fronting a down home ensemble or strutting it up with her big rock act, or even solo, Collins evokes comparisons to a charismatic chorus of brethren. From the edgy humanity of Patti Smith to the cool western suave of Chris Isaak to the introspective songwriting of Carole King, Collins' talent is deep and broad enough to recall all of these, while laying claim to a sound that is uniquely her own.

Roots rockin' songstress Reina G. Collins has sung for her supper nearly thirty years. Born and raised in sunny, salty Florida -- her songs are inspired by her early years as a Florida Girl. In the 80s, with Natty Moss Bond and Sam Bond, she co-founded pop rock band Multi Color House and then changed direction toward jazz and Brazilian music with pianist composer Kamau Kenyatta.

She crisscrossed the continent on solo road trips landing in Southern California in the early 90's. She got to know the Rocky Mountain region while touring for a year with a shit kickin' country rock band led by guitar-man-with-a-heart-of-gold Billy Farmer.

Reina's rambling led her to Teton Valley, Idaho -- her home from 1996-2005. There she established Driggs' first retail music shop Big Hole Music and was fortunate to become part of a community of fine musicians and artists, first rate partiers and dedicated outdoor enthusiasts.

In 2003 assisted by songwriter-mandolinist-producer Ben Winship Reina recorded her roots-folk album Kitchen Sink.

Following her fall 2005 relocation to Portland Reina had the good fortune to cross paths with songwriter Rob Barteletti. With producer guitarist Terry Robb, they joined forces to record Even If I Fall at Dennis Carter's Falcon Studios. Tony Furtado, Terry Robb and other Portland players provide first class musicianship on this melodic collection of witty, poignant, dark roots country tunes.

Spring 2007 found Reina on the road heading south from Portland, Oregon with a map, a tape recorder and a notepad. Her gut told her that a 10,000 mile cross country solo road trip would inspire the stories and experiences -- necessary ingredients -- to shake out a batch of new songs.

Austin To Boston, her 3rd release (2008), takes Reina in more of a roots rock/AAA radio friendly direction. Produced by Rob Stroup of 8 Ball Studio a slew of high caliber Portland session players contribute their talents. This album holds the listener with Reina's originals, tunes by Portland's Rob Barteletti and Paula Sinclair and the Richard Thompson gem '52 Vincent Black Lightning.

With the 2010 release of her newest album Saltwater Soul co-written and produced by Nashville's Phil Madeira (Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller) Reina has returned to Florida after twenty years on the West Coast. She is now based in Ft Lauderdale.