When Angel Forrest released her landmark album, Angel’s 11, I thought she had finally reached the pinnacle or her creative abilities. By teaming up with the 11 guitarists who have helped her to solidify her standing as one of Canada’s finest blues acts, I thought maybe she had defined her 3 decades in music with one CD.

Boy was I wrong!

Angel Forrest is a force of nature that is just getting started – a gravelly voiced powerhouse vocalist, brilliant songwriter and one of the most expressive artists on the Canadian blues scene today.

So how do you top Angel’s 11? By teaming her up with 11 amazing artists for a duets album appropriately titled; Angel’s 11 Vol. 2. This is the next logical step in defining Angel as an iconic vocalist and songwriter.

When I saw the list of guest artists on this album, I must confess I was impressed and intrigued at the potential sonic treasures this album could provide.

The album opens with Angel teaming up with current band mate and lead guitarist, Ricky Paquette for “Living in Bardo”. Ricky is a powerful blues artist of his own with several albums under his belt, so the fact that they share this onstage bond speaks volumes for their mutual respect. His clean vocals are a perfect counterpoint to Angel’s as they harmonize perfectly on this track.

Up next, she teams up with Denis Columbus for “My Favorite”, a sweet country blues song about life and love on the road. The two of them sound like they belong together in this cut that goes straight to the heart.

The third cut features a duet with Montreal based folk singer songwriter Rob Lutes for “Mad River”. Rob’s plaintive voice plays off Angel’s beautifully, as they step outside strict straight up blues for a folky ballad. Warm and atmospheric it is the kind of music that can seep into your soul and linger there forever.

Up next, one of the names in the list that intrigued me, as she teams up with Harry Manx, one of Canada’s most unique blues artists. Harry’s mix of folk, blues and Indian influences create a wonderful sonic backdrop for “Gypsy Heart”.

Cut 5 is one of those incredible musical moments that come so rarely, when two iconic artists combine to create sonic magic. Crystal Shawanda and Angel Forrest team up for “Hope”, a beautiful cut that cuts through the everyday struggles of two incredible ladies to deliver a message of understanding and hope.

Up Next, Angel teams up with Wellbad for “Everything Changes”. A politically charged cut addressing social issues while encouraging understanding and acceptance. Change is inevitable, but it need not be scarry. Often we resist change, not because it is wrong or bad, but because we do not understand. That is nicely summed up here and delivered with heart and soul.

Cut 7 features a duet with Reney Ray, who’s voice melds perfectly with Angel’s for Better Side. The smooth delivery, and brilliant production quality of this cut shines through. Up next finds Angel teaming up with Kal David and Lauri Bono, and “Just Enough”. This cut is a radio friendly infectious toe tapper, with country under tones.

The 9th cut teams Angel with Brandon Isaak, for the smooth and energetic “Whiskey & Wonder”. I have always had a huge respect for Brandon’s work ever since his days with the Twisters, and this cut does not disappoint. 

Up next a dream team that is a special treat for any fan of Montreal blues. Two of that city’s finest ladies of the Blues, as Angel teams up with Juno Award winner Dawn Tyler Watson. I am a huge fan of both fabulous ladies and often wondered what musical magic they might generate if they teamed up. Now we know, as “Glitter and Glow” delivers!

The final cut features Jonas Tomalty on “Please, Please, Please”. A thoughtful and heartfelt ballad that sums up the album and closes it with style and grace. 

Much like Angel herself, this new album is pure class, a moment in time that could define her career and leave us all wanting more. (Terry Parsons)