Delta Deep - Delta Deep
Rock Well, here’s a bit of a 180 from Phil Collen, guitarist from the legendary and oft-debated 80s rock outfit, Def Leppard. He’s suddenly changed gears with a new indie/blues/rock outfit called Delta Deep. Comprised of heretofore unknown vocalist Debi Blackwell-Cook, former STP bassist Rob DeLeo and wannabe metal drummer Forrest Robinson, this new pseudo-supergroup, despite sounding like a terrible idea, is kind of great. You’d never think a mainstream British pop rocker would produce good blues music, but somehow this new collaboration, who just released their debut self-titled album on June 23, has done just that.
The first surprise with Delta Deep is Collen’s on-point blues guitar. Known for his rock, rock and more mediocre rock, Collen has suddenly revealed his hidden superpower with Delta Deep: soulful, drawling blues rock guitar. It’s possible that he was inspired Debi Blackwell-Cook, who is his wife Helen’s godmother and whom he met at their wedding when she sang an a capella version of Ella Fitzgerald’s “The Man I Love.” Her throaty, soulful voice would inspire anyone as it rivals the female blues legends. Since meeting him, Blackwell has sung on a number of tracks for another of Collen’s side projects, Manraze and now she’s the featured vocalist in Delta Deep, and with good reason.
Former Stone Temple Pilots bassist Rob DeLeo was another great choice for the Delta Deep project. Though STP was clearly very grunge, DeLeo’s bass always stood out as being on the funky side, and the complexity of his basslines show his talent and skill with the instrument. That same technical skill can be heard now on Delta Deep’s album, carrying Collen’s guitar and punching up Blackwell’s soulful vocals. Forrest Robinson rounds out the group with his acclaimed drumming. Throughout his career Robinson has mostly been known for his R&B, blues and pop drumming but says he is a closet metal freak, and on the Delta Deep work it sounds like Collen encouraged him to explore that. This blues-cum-metal drumming adds to the rock edge on the album.
The new album released on June 23 on Mailboat Records, which is also Def Leppard’s label as well as Pat Benetar’s, Jimmy Buffet’s and many other classic rock heavy hitters. The album features some requisite cameos like Def Leppard’s lead singer Joe Elliot and Whitesnake’s David Coverdale. The Sex Pistols’ Paul Cook also has an unexpected walk-on.
Anyone looking for vestiges of Def Leppard style on the new Delta Deep album will be searching a while. This is a completely new sound for Collen and his bandmates. Even his guitar technique, which the trained ear might be able to spot, is almost unrecognizable. Thus, let’s try to evaluate the album on its own merits, shall we?
Vocally, Blackwell is extremely strong. Her voice would remind modern blues fans somewhat of Alabama Shakes’ lead singer, Brittany Howard. Her voice pairs well with Collen’s bluesy rock guitar and adapts to the many styles he lays down in the guitar tracks. Whiskey, a classic blues/rock pairing is a great example of when Collen and Blackwell are perfectly in sync. Songs like the album’s opener, Bang the Lid, however, contain Collen accompanying Blackwell on backing vocals and it is one of the few missteps Collen makes in composition. His voice just has no blues at all. He’s been able to adapt his guitar playing amazingly well to blues, but vocals aren’t quite as easy. He’s a little too restrained and, well, British for the blues.
Another glitch is with the song on which Joe Elliot is featured, Mistreated. Again, Elliot’s super-pop rock vocals clash with the mellow blues guitar. It also seems that Collen was going for a sort of Def Leppard/blues rock hybrid on this song, probably for Def Leppard fans’ sake, and it does not come off at all. The parts on the song are clean, but they each sound like they should be on a different track, or album. I’m all for fusion but here it’s just too different to mesh the two styles.
Collen produced most of the songs on the album and the production values are very clean but he’s managed to keep the soul of blues in the post - no easy feat. Blackwell, Collen, DeLeo and Robinson deliver a technically sound preformance while keeping that emotive and smoky quality which is so important in the blues. Another highlight is Private Number, the song featuring David Coverdale. This mashup of 80s rock and blues proves that it is possible to do what Collen and Elliot couldn’t in Mistreated. Coverdale’s vocals adapt perfectly to some of Collen’s best guitar playing on the album and the duet between Coverdale and Blackwell is emotional and inspiring.


Delta Deep’s debut album is a decent first effort, and it is eternally surprising how good Phil Collen is at blues guitar. Who knew? Albums like this really show how musicianship can be found in the strangest places. Def Leppard were good in their own right, whether you like pop rock or not, but many would argue that their sound was a bit contrite and asinine. With Delta Deep, Collen shows that a true musician can adapt to any genre he or she wants with the right inspiration. 
4
Brutal Resonance

Delta Deep - Delta Deep

7.0
"Good"
Spotify
Released 2015 by Mailboat
Well, here’s a bit of a 180 from Phil Collen, guitarist from the legendary and oft-debated 80s rock outfit, Def Leppard. He’s suddenly changed gears with a new indie/blues/rock outfit called Delta Deep. Comprised of heretofore unknown vocalist Debi Blackwell-Cook, former STP bassist Rob DeLeo and wannabe metal drummer Forrest Robinson, this new pseudo-supergroup, despite sounding like a terrible idea, is kind of great. You’d never think a mainstream British pop rocker would produce good blues music, but somehow this new collaboration, who just released their debut self-titled album on June 23, has done just that.
The first surprise with Delta Deep is Collen’s on-point blues guitar. Known for his rock, rock and more mediocre rock, Collen has suddenly revealed his hidden superpower with Delta Deep: soulful, drawling blues rock guitar. It’s possible that he was inspired Debi Blackwell-Cook, who is his wife Helen’s godmother and whom he met at their wedding when she sang an a capella version of Ella Fitzgerald’s “The Man I Love.” Her throaty, soulful voice would inspire anyone as it rivals the female blues legends. Since meeting him, Blackwell has sung on a number of tracks for another of Collen’s side projects, Manraze and now she’s the featured vocalist in Delta Deep, and with good reason.
Former Stone Temple Pilots bassist Rob DeLeo was another great choice for the Delta Deep project. Though STP was clearly very grunge, DeLeo’s bass always stood out as being on the funky side, and the complexity of his basslines show his talent and skill with the instrument. That same technical skill can be heard now on Delta Deep’s album, carrying Collen’s guitar and punching up Blackwell’s soulful vocals. Forrest Robinson rounds out the group with his acclaimed drumming. Throughout his career Robinson has mostly been known for his R&B, blues and pop drumming but says he is a closet metal freak, and on the Delta Deep work it sounds like Collen encouraged him to explore that. This blues-cum-metal drumming adds to the rock edge on the album.
The new album released on June 23 on Mailboat Records, which is also Def Leppard’s label as well as Pat Benetar’s, Jimmy Buffet’s and many other classic rock heavy hitters. The album features some requisite cameos like Def Leppard’s lead singer Joe Elliot and Whitesnake’s David Coverdale. The Sex Pistols’ Paul Cook also has an unexpected walk-on.
Anyone looking for vestiges of Def Leppard style on the new Delta Deep album will be searching a while. This is a completely new sound for Collen and his bandmates. Even his guitar technique, which the trained ear might be able to spot, is almost unrecognizable. Thus, let’s try to evaluate the album on its own merits, shall we?
Vocally, Blackwell is extremely strong. Her voice would remind modern blues fans somewhat of Alabama Shakes’ lead singer, Brittany Howard. Her voice pairs well with Collen’s bluesy rock guitar and adapts to the many styles he lays down in the guitar tracks. Whiskey, a classic blues/rock pairing is a great example of when Collen and Blackwell are perfectly in sync. Songs like the album’s opener, Bang the Lid, however, contain Collen accompanying Blackwell on backing vocals and it is one of the few missteps Collen makes in composition. His voice just has no blues at all. He’s been able to adapt his guitar playing amazingly well to blues, but vocals aren’t quite as easy. He’s a little too restrained and, well, British for the blues.
Another glitch is with the song on which Joe Elliot is featured, Mistreated. Again, Elliot’s super-pop rock vocals clash with the mellow blues guitar. It also seems that Collen was going for a sort of Def Leppard/blues rock hybrid on this song, probably for Def Leppard fans’ sake, and it does not come off at all. The parts on the song are clean, but they each sound like they should be on a different track, or album. I’m all for fusion but here it’s just too different to mesh the two styles.
Collen produced most of the songs on the album and the production values are very clean but he’s managed to keep the soul of blues in the post - no easy feat. Blackwell, Collen, DeLeo and Robinson deliver a technically sound preformance while keeping that emotive and smoky quality which is so important in the blues. Another highlight is Private Number, the song featuring David Coverdale. This mashup of 80s rock and blues proves that it is possible to do what Collen and Elliot couldn’t in Mistreated. Coverdale’s vocals adapt perfectly to some of Collen’s best guitar playing on the album and the duet between Coverdale and Blackwell is emotional and inspiring.


Delta Deep’s debut album is a decent first effort, and it is eternally surprising how good Phil Collen is at blues guitar. Who knew? Albums like this really show how musicianship can be found in the strangest places. Def Leppard were good in their own right, whether you like pop rock or not, but many would argue that their sound was a bit contrite and asinine. With Delta Deep, Collen shows that a true musician can adapt to any genre he or she wants with the right inspiration. 
Jun 29 2015

Layla Marino

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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