Delta Deep is a project headed by Phil Collen of Def Leppard. Collen brought together Rob DeLeo (bassist for Stone Temple Pilots), Forrest Robinson (drummer for TLC and India Arie), and Debbi Blackwell-Cook (background vocals for Michael Bublé and Gregory Hines). Their self-titled album, released June 23, 2015, features special guests Paul Cook (drummer for Sex Pistols), Simon Laffy (bassist for GIRL), David Coverdale (Whitesnake), Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), and CJ Vanston (producer for Tina Turner and TOTO).
The band kicks things off with a fun, energetic number, “Bang the Lid”, which is filled with the sounds of slide guitar, stomping drum beat, cool bass, and infectious vocals. One gets the immediate feeling that this just might be a band well worth seeing perform live—it is impossible to listen to this song without, at the very least, tapping a foot (I dare you). Interestingly enough, Delta Deep chooses to immediately slow things down with “Whiskey”, a mellow number fit to be played in a smoky lounge or bar for patrons relaxing and enjoying a drink. What is most impressive are the vocals, which so easily contributed to the previous head banger, just as easily slipped into this track.
It is in the next track, the upbeat “Down in the Delta”, that the Def Leppard influence comes through quite clearly, complete with guitar riffs, a guitar solo near the two-third mark, loud drums, and a shouted chorus. Then once the blood is pumping, in a move already familiar, the band takes things back down a notch with “Treat Her Like Candy”. The mid-tempo duet features both male and female vocals that seem to have been made to sing together, seamlessly going back and forth in a playful, flirty kind of way. The second duet is the following “Miss Me”, an up-tempo, drum-driven track in which each of the two vocalists take on one verse before being joined by the other for the chorus. It is, quite simply enough, exactly what you would expect from an alternative rock back—for all the right reasons.
The blues come back full force in the slow and heavy “Burnt Sally” which adds the sound of an organ—played by Jeffrey Vanston—to the now familiar mix of rock drums and throbbing electric guitar. The softer “Private Number” is yet another duet, but this time featuring David Coverdale’s vocals and another great electric guitar solo near the two-third mark. Make sure to turn the volume up for the next track, “Shuffle Sweet,” in which the Leppard influence is yet again clear, no doubt making many a foot stomp and many a head bang. Penultimate “Feelit” is surprisingly pop imbibed, making it a cheerful call for letting “your cares just fade away”. Delta Deep closes with “Mistreated”, a slow, throbbing number driven by a powerful electric guitar that just might make you reach for the repeat button.
Delta Deep’s self-titled album is a great rock album with blues, soul, and funk mixed in. More information about the band and their projects is available on both their official website and their Facebook page.