Album Reviews

Delta Deep

Delta Deep

Artist:     Delta Deep

Album:     Delta Deep

Label:     Mailboat

Release Date:     06/23/2015


Delta Deep’s self-titled debut is full of bluesy, pulsating riffs, supported by booming vocals and an undying love of funk and soul. Need we say more?

The band is comprised of Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Robert DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots), Forrest Robinson (TLC, India.Arie) and Debbi Blackwell-Cook, a former backup singer who performed with Luther Vandross. Collen, who has immense respect and admiration for blues, funk and soul, hooked up with Blackwell-Cook in 2010 and the duo quickly started jamming out to Motown and blues tunes—and the supergroup was starting to form.

The record has a real southern attitude, reinforced by the power both of each individual member and of their combined efforts. On “Down in the Delta,” the guitars are strong and searing, nicely accompanying Blackwell-Cook’s soulful spotlight moments. Collen slices through other tracks like “Bang the Lid” and “Mistreated” with power solos galore—a true axe to grind, a tug of war with Blackwell-Cook for who gets center stage.

Though some listeners might feel nostalgic upon hearing such an authentic blues sound, the album’s production (done by Collen himself) helps Delta Deep sound incredibly modern, placing them firmly in the here and now. Musically, Delta Deep is tight as hell, but Blackwell-Cook takes them to that next level. Having been described as “one part Aretha, one part Chaka, two parts Led Zeppelin,” she provides exactly the vocal force necessary to rise above such a commanding sound.

Nick Caruso

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