Visit our website at:

P.O. Box 721 Pekin, Illinois 61555 © 2011 Blues Blast Magazine

Featured Blues Review 1 of 6

Sweet Angel - A Girl Like Me (Lessons in Life)

Ecko Records

13 songs; 58:57 minutes

Styles: Southern Soul; Soul-Blues; Soul; R&B

Sweet Angel doesn’t play pure blues, but when it comes to pure vocals, she’s pure magic! Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1964, this “dangerous diva” (Clifetta Dobbins) got her start as a mortgage banker and real-estate agent before meeting her now-husband and personal manager Mac “Mike” Dobbins. It’s corporate America’s loss--and listeners’ gain--that Sweet Angel changed careers. Her latest and fifth CD, “A Girl Like Me,” with its all original tracks, proves that point relentlessly!

The title track--and this may come as a scintillating shock to his fans--describes Sweet Angel’s crush on blues artist Bobby Rush. She desired to be one of his hootchie dancing girls, only to be turned down because of factors not easily altered: first “you’re too young,” and then “you’re too little.” Unfortunately for Bobby, by the time Sweet Angel meets his criteria, it’s too late! Her singing career has taken off, and Mr. Rush has missed out. “I ain’t got much hair on my head,” Angel mentions alluding to her short cropped, platinum hair style, “but I’m as fine as I can be! Don’t you [Bobby Rush] wish you had a girl like me?”

Across her first four CDs, Sweet Angel has been lauded for her vocals. “...fierce articulation and her knife-edged vocal timbre make almost everything she sings sound emotionally focused...” said “Living Blues” magazine. For someone raised on Blues-Rock and Traditional Blues, I found distinct differences, apart from the vocals, in this music’s style.

Most notable is the lack of guitar as the lead instrument and focus of the music. Here, tight rhythm is everything, and guitar is used strictly for rhythm, with a few exceptions like “Don’t Be Lonely, Be Loved.” Well beyond the three-chord confines of conventional blues forms, Sweet Angel’s sound is an urban fusing of elements of black popular music. It uses the hard-driving energy of R&B plus the deep feel found in Southern Gospel. Instrumentally, organ and keyboards rule backed by bass, drums, and often an R&B-styled horn section (although machine sequenced). Ultimately, this is music for dancing.

Angel takes one higher and higher to Soul-music paradise in her second song, “I’d Rather Be By Myself than to be Unhappy.” It presents a hard realization that some may experience at the end (or, more sadly, the beginning) of a relationship. Some people say they’d rather die than be alone. That may be true, but for her, death is living with the hurt. “You make me want to run to the street, be on my own. How can I find heaven when there’s so much hell in my home?” The answer, at least for her, lies in parting ways.

Even though her stage name is Sweet Angel, she’s got a dash of the devil in her repertoire! “What I Want, What I Need” reveals this. “I’m seeing two, and I know that’s wrong. I’m so ashamed of what I’ve done. I know I’ve gotta--I’ve gotta set one free, but both of them are so damn good to me!” One has the finances, the other the finesse--in bed, that is. One wonders if these two men know about each other, and if she could lose them if they do find out.

The best slow song on the album is “The Comfort of my Man,” a saucy, swaying ballad celebrating the joy of a (dance) partner.

Throughout this release, Sweet Angel sings with power and pep, grace and glory. Long live Sweet Angel’s unique style that has been inaccurately reduced by some to the simple, limiting label, “Southern Soul!”

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 31 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of the 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE




 Sweet Angel in Little Rock, Ar - Saturday, April 30, 2011

Over 5,000 in attendance......




Award Winning Soul/Blues/R&B Singer

Sweet Angel

Sweet Angel Booking and Promotions 901.338.9901


 Sweet AngelSweet Angel