Delta Deep is four kindred spirits bound by a proclivity for blues, funk, rock, and soul. The chemistry of these talents, with their array of musical facets, shines on their self-titled debut. Out front is lead singer Debbi Blackwell-Cook (Michael Buble, Luther Vandross) whose earthy vocal brilliance is irresistible.
Bassist Robert DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots) and drummer Forrest Robinson (Joe Sample) join forces on the bottom end, providing rhythm and grooves that transition from jazzy to full-throttle rock and roll.
Guitarist Phil Collen (Def Leppard, Manraze) is the band’s other singer, both as lead vocal as well as accompanying Cook. The intonation and power of this duo is astounding. Collen’s guitar playing flaunts aspects of his repertoire, which are rarely, if ever, heard in Def Leppard. Yet his trademark scream and growl show up in the title track and the driving rocker, “Shuffle Sweet”. In “Whiskey” he kicks out a supernatural guitar solo reminiscent of Jeff Beck circa Blow by Blow. Does Papa have a brand new bag, or has he just been stashing it all this time?
“Burnt Sally” showcases each player, with a nod to many of the blues greats. Specters of B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Gary Moore, and Jimi Hendrix seem to rise from Collen’s fingers. Elsewhere, “Bang the Lid”, is like a secret weapon, in that it reveals a side of Collen’s guitar playing that is rarely, if ever, heard in the Def Leppard catalog.
David Coverdale (Whitesnake, Deep Purple), who sang “Mistreated” on the 1974 Deep Purple classic “Burn”, sings a stunning duet with Cook on “Private Number”.
Delta Deep’s self-titled debut is consummate. Though fine additions to the record, the guest vocals from Joe Elliott and David Coverdale are icing on an already-delicious cake. Cook, Collen, DeLeo, and Robinson have it all. Hopefully there is more to come from this unusual band.
01. Bang the Lid
03. Down in the Delta
04. Treat Her Like Candy
05. Miss Me
06. Burnt Sally
07. Private Number (featuring David Coverdale)
08. Shuffle Sweet
09. Black Coffee
11. Mistreated (featuring Joe Elliott)
Run Time: 42 minutes
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Check out the song “Down in the Delta” here.