Delta Deep – “East Coast Live” CD/DVD (Frontiers Music)
Internationally renowned for being Def Leppard’s longtime guitarist, what is less known about Phil Collen is his love for other types of music like blues, funk and soul music. Exploring his own rock roots, Collen discovered the underlying blues style that was infused into the rock created by the likes of Hendrix and Page – and not long after Delta Deep was born! A self styled ‘extreme blues project’, this incredible fusion is no doubt due to the other selected members joining Collen on his remarkable quest from Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo to Joe Sample / Crusaders drummer Forrest Robinson – and not in the least Michael Buble / Gregory Hines background vocalist & theatrical performer Debbi Blackwell-Cook! Recorded and filmed at Daryl’s House (i.e. Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates fame) in April 2016, this 15 track wonder shows just what top musicians can produce when setting their minds to breaking conventional boundaries. Not blues, not soul and not rock, “East Coast Live” is in fact, blues style rock and you’ll know just what I mean when you hear the hard stomping covers of Zepp’s ‘Black Dog’ (and you’ll know what inspired Robert Plant’s yelps) to a soul injected cover of Purple’s ‘Mistreated’ completed by some shredding guitar work from Collen! With the raw guitar and warbling fret board work continuing on ‘Bang Your Lid’ complemented wonderfully by Blackwell-Cook’s funky rhyming lyrics, it doesn’t take long before the power kicks in on ‘Shuffle Sweet’ with its hard drumming and co vocals between Collen and Blackwell-Cook trading off one another slickly! ‘Black Coffee’ teases the audience with its simple riff while the vocals sail off into their own, resonating sensuality throughout while the innocence of country blues in ‘Treat Her Like Candy’ is a refreshing soother to the hot house atmosphere the rest of the material invokes! Needless to say the blues rocker medley of ‘Burnt Sally / Rock Me Baby’ with its incredible guitar work throughout and Blackwell-Cook’s vocals brings the crowd to climax with plenty of whoops – not like the band bask like rock stars given their down to earth banter and interaction – making for an even more appealing invitation to partake in the new delights on offer here.