Those who spend their entire lives waiting for the sunshine never learn to dance in the rain. Yet many of us go through life just searching for the sun, only to let much of life’s beauty wash by us. How sad for them, but don’t feel sorry for Reina Collins, cause the music on her CD titled SALTWATER SOUL could turn any hurricane into a rain dancing party.
Reina opens this collection by showering you with I’M ALL YOURS, followed by CUT IT LOOSE, with a voice that pours out Natalie Merchant (think Tigerliley, 1995, Elektra Records) with just a sprinkle of Carly Simon (think Boys In the Trees, 1978, Electra Records). Track three, NO SIGN OF RAIN, depicts the cost of collateral damage so vividly that Willie Nelson could sing it at either a Farm Aid or Japan Relief benefit. Tracks four and five diametrically oppose each other with LOST IN YOU telling how fire water destroys both drunkards and those who love the drunk, while HEY MISTER washes you clean with the hope and resurrection found in being of service to others.
Then there’s track six – WALK IN THE RAIN – my favorite. And here’s where I’ll take you into a Dr. Bob moment. At first glance, one might mistakenly think, as I did, that this is about going to the gallows. I will not be a spoiler when I tell you it is not. Rather, I will tell you this. Go to You Tube and watch a video by the prairie rock group The Sadies called The Horseshoe. It’s at:
Don’t concentrate too much on the video portion, fascinating as it may seem. Instead, listen carefully to the music. Then play WALK IN THE RAIN. It’s hard to put into words what you just heard, other than to say you’ve discovered musical mirror-images, polar opposites in every way they are the same, an experience as fascinating as the Joshua Tree itself. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out the rest.
As for the rest of this CD, Reina continues with a tour-de-force trilogy tribute to her parents – SWAMP CAT and MOTHER – and herself: ST. JOHN’S RIVER where she got her saltwater soul and her feet in the mud. Then she brings it all home with the final track IN THE MORNING which bathes you in the trust, hope and longing Carol King and Toni Stern captured so clearly nearly 40 years ago in My My She Cries (Ryhmes and Reasons, 1972, A&M Records).
As you can see, there are no dry spots on this CD. So if you’re spending all your time just waiting for the sun, don’t be afraid to get your feet wet with Reina Collins. She has enough SALTWATER SOUL for everyone.