Raina Rose's love of music was born high on a hill in Eagle Rock, CA as a toddler when her father would bust out his 1973 Mossman guitar and play Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, and the Lovin' Spoonful while she and her sister would dance and sing. Raina's sister used to play the Beatles and Joni Mitchell through the wall on an old turntable. At eleven, Raina's blossoming song writing skills were bolstered by a classical body steel string Mountain guitar that would soon become her constant companion. Raina's high school education consisted of skipping school and playing guitar in the lush green parks of Portland, OR.
Her smile and her songs reflect the renegade girl next door who'll dare you to call in sick and go to the beach...Now! Raina's guitar playing valiantly ventures way beyond the third fret, her songs are like falling down laughing in a garage sale when you find that one thing you never realized you've always been looking for.
After five years of being one of the front women of the Gypsy Moths, a funky folk duo/four-piece, Raina is debuting with a beautifully wrought solo album that swings from confident acoustic folk to danceable indie-pop to flowing orchestral ballad all with vocal and stylistic grace and poetic honesty.
The album, due for release on August 13th, is being produced by Jim Brunberg of Box Set, owner of Mississippi Studios, the premier live music venue/recording studio in Portland.
She is planning to tour her upbeat and fiercely fun solo show to promote "Raina Rose...Despite the Crushing Weight of Gravity."
go to her myspace!! http://www.myspace.com/rainarose
This is a review from the Oregonian's Music Editor, Marty Hughley!
Raina Rose and Meredith Cushing met as 8-year-olds at summer camp, took up music together in their teens and spent several years as the core of a Portland folk act called the Gypsy Moths. Eventually, they flew their separate ways.
And, to judge by Rose's new CD, "Despite the Crushing Weight of Gravity," maybe lifelong friendship was holding them back. That is to say, Rose's solo effort marks a notable step up from the duo's sometimes cutesy approach.
"Gravity" won't reshape anyone's thinking about the possibilities of singer-songwriter folk/pop, but it could confirm your feelings about the simple pleasures of the form.
One key is enlisting the right help, and the contributing musicians include such local stalwarts as bassist Michael Papillo (Amelia, 3 Leg Torso), drummer Ned Failing (Dirty Martini), harmonica master Joe Powers (Rose City Kings), guitarist Lewi Longmire (too numerous to list) and violinist Tracy Grammer.
In large measure, though, the album is a collaboration between Rose and producer/multi-instrumentalist Jim Brunberg. The man behind Mississippi Studios and the band Box Set, Brunberg has a knack for dressing up the songs just enough to give them a little sympathetic strength.
Apart from lead lines on a couple of cuts, Rose handles the guitar work herself, providing a clean, straightforward frame for the songs. Her voice is clear and sweet, recalling at times Suzanne Vega or Dirty Martini's McKinley, and even -- when she opts for a slip-and-slide sort of phrasing popular with young female folkies these days -- Ani DiFranco.
Rose's songwriting shows variety. She is most compelling when she gets serious, as in the ruminative "See You Singing," on which her multitracked vocals create a haunting effect, or the dark literary vignette "Back Alley Butcher."
Several other songs -- such as "Nameless Ship," with its bracing string quartet accompaniment, the reggae-inflected "Bicycle" and the closing solo instrumental "Somnambulist" -- tip the scales well toward the positive.
Suffice to say, this moth has taken wing.