Delta Deep is primarily based out of Southern California, but with members that hail from London, UK, New Jersey, Memphis, Tenn., USA, their musical styles follows a cohesive list of blues, American roots, soul, and rock.
Consisting of Phil Collen who plays guitars and lead vocals (Def Leppard, MANRAZE), Robert DeLeo who plays bass guitars (Stone Temple Pilots), Forrest Robinson who plays drums/percussions (TLC, India Arie, Engelbert Humperdinck, Joe Sample & The Crusaders), and Debbi Blackwell-Cook who plays lead vocals (background singer with Luther Vandross, for Michael Buble and the late Gregory Hines among others).
Phil Collen is best known for being the lead guitarist of British rock band Def Leppard and alternative roots/rock band Manraze. He initially started Delta Deep in 2012 as an experiment to create some extreme blues in a project. The band has been described as “one part Aretha (Franklin), one part Chaka (Khan), 2 parts Led Zeppelin”.
Although he is widely known for selling one hundred million albums worldwide with his rock band Def Leppard, Collen’s love and appreciation for blues, funk, and soul music was showing itself in the form of his blues project, Delta Deep. Collen wanted to change the tide of what he was listening to but without eliminating its truest organic form as possible. Hence the sound of the bluesy, soulful fused rock ‘n’ roll of Delta Deep was born.
“Bang the Lid”, the opening track to Delta Deep’s self-titled debut album is great as far as first impressions go. Exuberant and exciting, the song comes across as fast with a bluesy marching beat. Noisy and sounding like a lot of fun, it has Americana roots and a soulful vibe. Debbi Blackwell-Cook sings here and her bluesy vocals give the track a heightened jazzy sensibility.
“Whiskey” is a sugared, jazzy track with the sweet treatments of guitar strings and percussions. The vocals are more languid here and the track more than once pronounces ‘whiskey’ with a style of ease that is about sweet excess. The musicianship and vocals are tight, and have a working together that melds all the principles of bluesy rock here.
“Down in the Delta” follows a bluesy soulful tract just like how Delta Deep as a band operates. It is a temperate song with illustrations of weather forecasts to describe what it is like down south. It has strong guitar instrumentations and has a careful crafted sound. There is a jam session towards the middle of the song that is also illustrious of Delta Deep’s energized sound.
Phil Collen has brought with him his love for all things blues, funk, and soul music to give us a rendition of blues music in Delta Deep without losing the basic outline of what blues music is. Here it is raw, deep, and a soulful journey, giving this band, a 7.8/10.