I wonder if the first time someone ate a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup if they sat completely shocked, in awe, of the magnificence laid before them. Chocolate and Peanut Butter. Two great tastes that taste great together. Certainly not the oil and water of snacks but prior to Reese’s dominant emergence into the world of candy, I wonder if anyone would have ever thought they’d go together; and so well, I might add. Well, how about two great sounds that sound great together? That description fits Delta Deep!
Could your ears be done the same great service Reese’s provided your taste buds? Would you believe me if I said yes? How about if I told you that the chocolate and peanut butter of rock n’ roll came courtesy of a band comprised of members from Stone Temple Pilots and Def Leppard. You heard that right. An unexpected combination? Maybe.
The musical brainchild of Def Leppard lead-guitarist Phil Collen, Delta Deep has fans salivating, ripe with anticipation for the outfit’s second album, East Coast Live. Due to be released January 26th, 2018, the new disc boasts an impressive fifteen tracks. Returning with Collen is singer Debbi Blackwell-Cook. Black-Well Cook serves the perfect foil for Collen’s down and dirty, in your face blues rock extravaganza. With a voice that possesses more character than a novel, Blackwell-Cook’s sultry swagger and warm soul is damn near intoxicating.
Joining forces on East Coast Live is none other than Robert DeLeo; bassist, songwriter and founder of rock and grunge legends, Stone Temple Pilots. He assists in creating a thunderous, swinging rhythm section with drummer Forrest Robinson. There’s no way you’re unfamiliar with Stone Temple Pilots. But in case you’re not fully aware of the bombastic bass playing of DeLeo, do yourself a favor. Check out Stone Temple Pilots classics, “Interstate Love Song”, “Trippin’ On a Hole In a Paper Heart” and “Sour Girl”.
Interestingly enough, his playing is almost as unexpected as this collaboration. For playing the bass in one of the biggest rock bands ever, DeLeo’s playing sits much more on the side of the fence with James Jamerson; one of his biggest influences. His playing is more about soul and the feeling behind the notes. He can’t be limited to locking with a kick drum. DeLeo relies less on traditional, layin’ on the backbeat bass playing and prefers a more melodic approach. His walking basslines often provide a warm rhythmic home for which the foundation of a song grows.
Even in the case of Collen, the depth of the man’s playing and the conviction of which he slings his six-string axe can send chills up your spine. Collen hammers, bends and stretches his guitar to within an inch of its life, hellbent on making every note count. Primarily known for the gigantic, sensational hard-rock, hair-metal raucous good time rock of the 80’s with Def Leppard, Collen will leave you speechless. And not only with his brilliant, virtuosic playing. Who knew this man could sing like this? Take the lead single off of East Coast Live, “Bless These Blues.” The track oozes attitude while never sacrificing an inch of authenticity. This isn’t a put-on. Together with Blackwell-Cook, Collen stretches past the limit of reasonable vocal expectations. The pair create a truly unique one-two punch of blues-drenched angst. Delta Deep breathes and bleeds this music.
The band doesn’t just lurk in the studio either. On this year’s edition of the annual G3 Tour the band will make appearances as Phil Collen is joining Dream Theater guitar virtuoso John Petrucci and guitar legend and tour founder Joe Satriani. The tour provides both the band and Collen an ample opportunity to show those unfamiliar just what a musical juggernaut they are.
Delta Deep sound possessed by the blues. “Bless These Blues” is a wonderful initiation to the band if you’re not already familiar. Blackwell-Cook wails, “All of these blessings. That’s meant for me.” She’s no doubt blessed with vocal chords capable of producing notes that feel like a religious experience. In just over a month when the fruits of their labor come bursting through your speakers, you’ll realize that is East Coast Live is the true blessing.