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| 12 April 2016 | Reply

Ad Litteram
11 March, 2016
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Angel Forrest - Angel's 11

A legend in her native French Canada, three-time winner of the Maple Blues Award for Female Vocalist of the year 2013 through 2015, Angel Forrest has assembled a classy blues album with oomph, swing, groove and electricity.

Whilst Forrest’s powerful vocals are the star of the show here, she has enlisted the help of the eponymous eleven guitar slingers to each play on one track. That they’re all good friends after Forrest’s 27 years on the blues scene is obvious at first listen – this is the sound of talented individuals jamming and making something greater than the sum of their parts.

These eleven new tracks, all co-written by Forrest and bassist Denis Coulombe, were composed with their guitarist in mind, and the end results are sensational, featuring shades of blues, rock, jazz and Americana throughout.

Forrest has a Bonnie Raitt-Susan Tedeschi edge to her voice, but isn’t afraid to belt it out Janis Joplin-style if the song calls for it, and with a late-‘90s Janis Joplin tribute show on her resume, she is uniquely capable of the task.

Featured guitarists include Johnny Flash, Rob MacDonald, Steve Strongman, Ricky Paquette, Dimitri Lebel-Alexandre, Paul DesLauriers, Kim Greenwood, Corey Diabo, Shane Murphy, Steve Hill and Adam Karch, and such is the respect for their craft Angel’s 11’s cover features all their names carved into a wood façade, then on the inside sleeve satiated the guitar geeks by listing the instruments each play, from pedal steel to a ’58 Strat, a ’59 Les Paul Historie to a custom Telecaster.

To cite favourites would be a futile exercise: each and every track is impeccable, played lovingly and with exactly the right touch by the musos, and whether fast or slow, hot and steamy or sad and wistful, smoky or stomping, Forrest pulls the perfect vocal treatment out of the bag every time, making this a wonderful listen from start to finish.

Category: CD Reviews

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