Monday, May 2, 2016
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: ANGEL FORREST - ANGEL'S 11
Quebec's monster-voiced belter is arguably the country's reigning blues singer these days, having picked up the Maple Blues Award for Female Vocalist three years running. Her vocal prowess will always dominate a song, but here she comes up with a fascinating idea to save some of the spotlight for the guitar player too. Not just any guitar player; there are 11 of them, Angel's 11, as she has hand-picked some of the best Canadian talent to guest.
Much of the magic here is that the songs were designed for the guests. Writing with her partner Denis Coulombe, the pair matched songs with styles. So you get a player who is more of a rocker, Johnny Flash (Jean-Sebastien Chouinard), out of Garou's band and Cirque de Soleil's Elvis show, Viva Elvis, on the big opener, Hangman. Rob MacDonald, long-time performing partner with Rob Lutes, shines on the soulful All The Way. Steve Strongman lets some more jazzy notes come through on Spoil Me Up.
Each song has its own character, and the magic of the release is how Angel adapts to each, while many become a showcase for the guest. Paul DesLauriers, somebody capable of tremendous electric work, dazzles on acoustic for the track Goodbye, my favourite on a set full of highlights. This went from being a good idea on paper to being a fully-developed and very successful concept.