Rayna Kay
"Moondust In My Hand"
by Johanna J. Bodde

RAYNA KAY   "Moondust In My Hand"
(R Kay Records)

Rayna Kay had never given up her initial dream to become a "real" singer and musician and bought her first own guitar from a tax refund. While her marriage failed in an unpleasant way, she started to perform in a pub, somewhere in Soulard, St. Louis. There she was "discovered" by a vagabond, who appeared to be a talented musician as well, he appreciated the qualities of her unique, pure voice. Rayna's bio continues likewise for half a page. Performances in the theatre of Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard in Branson, Missouri; after this place was closed down she lived in a log cabin in Tennessee, owned by Willie and met Kostas there, famous name from Nashville, who also encouraged her. In 1993 she left for Nashville herself to record a demo and play wherever she could, even in the streets. In the meantime she turned forty, but is still convinced: "I'll never lose my dream". Why Rayna does not succeed to break through is a complete mystery to me, when I listen to her self-released album "Moondust In My Hand"... She indeed has a special voice, hard to describe, think Melissa Etheridge / Lucinda Williams. Her band The Vagrant Saints plays a mixture of rock and americana in a very skilled way. The title song is a strong one: "But like moondust in the air, his presence stays" and served as source of inspiration for the beautiful drawing on the cover. The stylish song "When I Roam October" reminds of Rosanne Cash and contains a starring role for the saxophone, just like the final track "Wax And Ashes", in which is concluded: "The only thing that lasts, is love". And music, Rayna!
Written by Johanna J. Bodde, translated by Yvonne Bohm. Dutch original of this review previously published on Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands.