Thursday, February 15, 2018

Band Review: Delta Deep

I came to Delta Deep in a roundabout way.

Last June I went to see Tesla, Poison, and Def Leppard. One of my favorite songs from Tesla was "Save That Goodness". Its video featured not only Phil Collen, who wrote the song, but vocalist Debbi Blackwell-Cook. I wanted to hear more of her, as she had a fantastic presence.

Searches revealed that most of her work had been backup vocals, but that she was in a band, Delta Deep. Okay, I would review Delta Deep.

I liked the connections of Tesla and Def Leppard touring together, and sharing songs, but the connections go so much further with Delta Deep.

Blackwell-Cook is Collen's wife's godmother, and sang at his wedding. The three of them began writing songs together, and a band began to form. Blackwell-Cook and Collen were joined by Forrest Robinson on drums and Robert DeLeo on bass.

People jamming and finding that they want to record and tour is both special and common, but it is impressive to grasp the combined experience of this quartet. In addition to Def Leppard, Cullen was also in Man Raze with Simon Laffy (also of Girl) and Paul Cook (also of Sex Pistols), both of whom appear on the "Black Coffee" track.

Robert DeLeo has played in several bands, but most famously for Stone Temple Pilots. Forrest Robinson has drummed for TLC, Ray Parker Jr., Randy Crawford, and Engelbert Humperdink. As well as performing theatrically, Debbi Blackwell-Cook has sung backup for Michael Buble and Gregory Hines.

Putting all of that together -- the years of experience, and the range, and the connections -- it is no surprise to find featured appearances by Joe Elliot and David Coverdale. It shouldn't be a surprise to hear traces of root music and soul and lots of rock and so much blues.

One of my favorites was "Bang the Lid". The intro reminds me a little of "Ram Jam's "Black Betty", but it is its own song and it certainly doesn't sound like anything forty years old.

Delta Deep is their own band, and they are new, but they bring with them a rich musical tradition that they can pull from to build whatever they want.

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