Sacramento Bee, The (CA)
March 21, 2014
A distinctive, compelling voice 
Author: Andy Furillo; Staff Writer
Edition: 1st State
Section: Ticket
Page: 8TK
You see it, you hear it, every Wednesday night in the Torch Club, at 5:30, amid happy-hour people jibber-jabbering about the events of the day, drinking a Lagunitas or Corona or maybe something with a higher octane level. Then the jukebox powers down, and the audio focus shifts to the strength and clarity of the greatest of all the musical instruments, the one that breathes energy and emotion into jazz or pop, country or funk, the blues, rock and roll, and plain, old-fashioned American folk.
It's the human voice, of course, and this one of unmistakable resonance kicks off the weekly open mic nights at the Torch, and then again later at Old Ironsides, and it also takes the stage once a month or more at the Delta King, and it wafts through coffeehouses and nightclubs all over the downtown/midtown Sacramento grid. It's trained, it's motivated, and it makes people stop what they're doing for a minute to find out where it's coming from.
This voice belongs to a vocalist named Sandra Dolores, whose Torch Club sets usually run about three songs before the hostess turns the stage over to the masses. She comes back again just before 8 to close the session with another song or two, usually behind a guitar that rings the same as her voice - clean and clear as the morning dew.
On Saturday night, Dolores is taking one of Sacramento's more prominent musical stages. Harlow's is having her over to mark the release of her new five-song compilation EP, "Anima." She'll be backed by drummer Tony Galioto, himself an open mic regular, and bass man Nate Riddle.
She said she'll be telling the stories off her EP originals "about all the different things that women go through, and emotions that we go through in this crazy ride." And she'll tell them over steady grooves that cross over from progressive folk to blues and even into accidental calypso rhythms featuring ukulele.
Just as she does live at the Torch or the "Old I," or at the Delta King, in recordings Dolores emits a definitive and distinctive vocal phrasing that cuts through the clatter of conversations in a neighborhood bar, of a busy day, of a distracted life. Hers is a voice that enhances a conversation or a drive home, with a propensity to captivate.
"When I started singing in Stockton, at the Blackwater, I realized I had something special when everybody would get quiet," Dolores said, about the club where she first went public five years ago. "Not that they didn't get quiet for other people, but I knew there was something special in it. People would constantly come up to me and talk to me about the song and tell me about their experiences - 'that song makes me think about this,' and then I would see that connection on their faces."
About 20 years ago Dolores' mother picked up on her 14-year-old daughter's tone and enrolled her in singing lessons. The Stockton girl worked out the pipes at the University of the Pacific's Conservatory of Music, developing range and refining her technique.
She lists Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez as influences. She covers Patsy Cline and Smokey Robinson.
A Sacramento resident for three years, Sandra Dolores has set aside day jobs and a marriage to define and expand the voice that is her own. These days, it pays the bills.
Her sound surprises the unsuspecting. It makes people nod and agree, makes them notice every time she steps up to the mic: This girl can sing.
Call The Bee's Andy Furillo, (916) 321-1141. Follow him on Twitter @andyfurillo.

Copyright (c) 2014 The Sacramento Bee
Record Number: SAC0070463797


Besides entertaining at private parties, weddings, wineries, and various restaurants and bars around the Northern/Southern California area, Sandra Dolores has performed at the following venues across the United States. 

KZFR, Community radio, Chico, CA
Insight, Capitol Public Radio
   April, 2014 interview and performance listen here
   October, 2014 interview and performance listen here 

The Junior and Leo Show, online radio show
News 10, Good Morning Sacramento, 2010 and 2013
Cable Access, Roseville, 2011
Cable Access, Auburn, 2012
Cable Access, Sacramento, 2014

Sacramento, CA
Harlows Nightclub
Shine Café
The Torch Club
Old Ironsides
Blue Lamp
Fox and Goose
Delta King Pilothouse Lounge & Riverboat

The Naked Lounge
Chalk It Up Festival
Luna’s Café
Wells Fargo Center

Clunie Hall
On The Y
Cesar Chavez Park

Firebreak Lounge, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino,
Tahoe, NV

Hard Rock Cafe, Las Vegas, NV

Prospect Theater Project, Modesto, CA

Zinfest, Lodi, CA

Steelhead Lodge, Colusa, CA

Alchemy Market & Wine Bar, Murphys, CA
Café FLO, Chico, CA
Bay Area
The Lost Church, SF
Osteria, SF
Café La Boheme, SF
FIVE, Shattuck Plaza Hotel, Berkeley
Lestat’s, San Diego

Pacific Northwest
Stone Way Cafe, Seattle, WA
Couth Buzzard Books, Seattle, WA
Artichoke Music, Portland, OR
The Waypost, Portland, OR

Chicago, IL
LUMC Studios, Pilsen, Chicago
La Parada en Pilsen, Pilsen, Chicago

Daytona Beach, FL
The Roof, Daytona Beach
Caribbean Jack's, Daytona Beach

Break Awayz, Flagler Beach, FL