Angel Forrest – Angel’s 11 Vol. II | Album Review

Angel Forrest – Angel’s 11 Vol. II

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11 songs time – 46:24

Canadian chanteuse Angel Forrest presents her latest CD in her three-decade career, having received many accolades in her native country. Among her achievements was her tribute to Janis Joplin and subsequent live CD of Janis material. This is a CD of duets plus one triplet (? lol). From what I gather with Canadian singers. Three of which I am familiar with. Her husky voice is riveting, keeping the listeners’ attention. Having a strong backing band is a big plus. All the well-crafted songs were written by Angel Forrest and Denis Coulombe.

Ricky Paquette’s vocal is the perfect fit for Angel’s on “Living In Bardo”. The searing electric guitar lines are attributed to him as well. Denis Coulombe assists him on acoustic guitar and the two join forces for the ringing guitar intro. Coulombe duets on the island themed “My Favorite”, that is helped greatly by Dimitri Lebel-Alexandre’s Hawaiin tinged pedal steel guitar and Paquette’s deep-toned guitar. The lushly eloquent duet  “Mad River” is beautifully melancholy with Rob Lutes on this one. Canadian roots singer Harry Manx vocalizes on “Gypsy Heart”, as well as lending his signature Eastern-sounding Veena with its’ sound similar to a sitar.

Crystal Shawanda joins in on “Hope” and for my money I’m hard pressed to differentiate twixt the two. Sounds like Angel is having a glorious duet with herself. WellBad contributes his powerful voice to “Everything Changes” while Ricky Paquette’s electric guitar soars up into the stratosphere. Another gorgeous blending of female voices courtesy of Reney Ray is a treat for the listener on the country-ish “Better Side”, a song that benefits from Mr. Paquette’s electric guitar and mandolin. This guy adds extra goodness to everything he touches.

I told you there would be a triplet as Kal David & Lauri Bono join Angel on the country flavored “Just Enough”. Brandon Issak’s rough hewn vocal compliments one of Angel’s more throaty and appropriate vocals on the rough and tumble “Whiskey & Wonder”. Brandon also plays harmonica and acoustic slide guitar on this one. They play nicely against Paquette’s electric slide guitar and deep-toned electric guitar. “These souls just can’t be sold” sums up the sentiment of the song. High profile Canadian songstress Dawn Tyler Watson spars with Angel on the swaggering “Glitter & Glow”. The slow, poignant and intense breakup song “Please, Please, Please” wraps things up with Jonas Tomalty trading lines with Angel against mournful guitar accompaniment.

Wow! An emotion packed vocal, lyrical and instrumental tour-de-force. Not one miscue here. The production values by Guillaime Lombart are right on the money. The musicianship is beyond reproach. As an extra bonus the photos and drawings in the enclosed booklet by Dylan Sky are works of art. Where has this lady and partners in crime been all my life. Pick up this sure thing!

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