Delta Deep is a new blues/rock fusion project spearheaded by Def Leppard guitarist, Phil Collen. It’s a collaboration between Collen, who has revealed a surprising talent for blues guitar playing and song composition, Stone Temple Pilots’ former bassist Rob DeLeo, noted R&B drummer Forrest Robinson and breakout songstress Debi Blackwell-Cook. On their debut self-titles album which is full of surprises, one single stands out as the most surprising of all: “Private Number.” A do-wop-inspired blues duet, “Private Number” pairs Blackwell with another 80s rock god, Whitesnake’s David Coverdale.
The melding of high-pitched, tight-throated 80s metal/rock singing with a blusier sound is not the easiest thing to do, but Coverdale somehow adapts his vocals on “Private Number” to stand up to Debi Blackwell-Cook’s powerfully belted blues sound. The interplay between these two skilled vocalists really shows how two high-level musicians can coax the feeling and joy out of a piece without losing any technical prowess.
Throughout Delta Deep’s first album, Phil Collen’s skill on the guitar really shines. As a rhythm guitarist in Def Leppard, it has been a delight to see him thrive as a blues guitarist with the inspiration he gained working with Blackwell on other projects. In “Private Number,” we see some of his best guitar playing on the album and his technique rivals some of the greats like Stevie Ray Vaughan or Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The trio of Collen, Blackwell and Collen’s wife Helen as a songwriting team also brings this song together as one of the best on the album.
Delta Deep appears to have a very strong start. With DeLeo and Collen giving the band a hefty rock star pedigree, Blackwell’s flawless vocals and lots of other rock star cameos on the album, rock and blues fans alike will more than likely ejnoy this new hybrid. “Private Number,” is the best example on this album of what can be achieved with inspiration, creativity and the collective efforts of some very strong musicians. Delta Deep’s first album released on June 23 and is available to purchase on the band’s label site, Mailboat Records or on itunes. Check out the Youtbute streaming single for “Private Number” here and catch other streaming track previews on Delta Deep’s website.