Well I'd be lying if I said I wasn't really stoked to see this one come through my inbox. I'm a HUGE fan of Def Leppard and Stone Temple Pilots so when I saw that Deep Delta was the new project from Phil Collen of Def Leppard and Robert DeLeo of STP and I got a chance to check it out nearly a month before it dropped I felt a blast of thermonuclear excitement rush through my body. They're joined by Forrest Robinson (TLC, India.Arie) on drums and Debbi Blackwell-Cook (Michael Buble, Gregory Hines) on vocals. Combine that with the fact that it's a live album and I'm all in. It just sounds like my kinda party, tbh. I'm ready to listen to it.
Watch the lyric video for "Bless These Blues" on YouTube here:
We get started with the Led Zeppelin classic "Black Dog" and aside from some crackles in the vocal, it's pretty true to the original. I'll let the vocal miscues slide since I'm sure Blackwell-Cook is just getting warmed up. Track two is "Bang the Lid" and it's a pretty rocking little blues jam and sees Blackwell-Cook settling in nicely. "Miss Me" is a nice little duet and stays true to the rockin' blues theme well. So far this is a rock-solid live performance by excellent musicians. "Treat Her Like Candy" slows things down a bit and it's a nice change-of-pace. It should be noted how incredible the rhythm section of DeLeo and Robinson work together. The bottom end really moves these blues numbers along nicely. Track five is "Black Coffee" is led by Phil Collen's underrated vocals stylings. I always appreciated his additions on the backing vocals for Def Leppard but he can more than shine on his own in a lead vocal setting. Another really strong track that's slowly adding up to a pretty incredible live show. I wish I would have been there. "Burnt Sally/Rock Me" is a slow blues burner that really showcases Collen's lead guitar and Blackwell-Cook's soaring vocals. It should be noted that the between song (and in-song) banter is top-notch entertainment as well. "Whiskey" is the first track where the show seems to slow down a bit. It almost seems like they are taking a break, which is deserved after the first half of the record. "Shuffle Sweet" gets us right back on track in a major way. It's a rocker with co-lead vocals by Collen and Blackwell-Cook and it's a stick of pure dynamite. Awesome solo too. "Private Number" isn't the best track on the album but it's still a good time. Track ten is "Bless These Blues" and it's all sorts of fun. It's so good that I had to call my girlfriend in from the other room to play it for her. "Mistreated" is next and it's a dark and moody track about being f**ked over proper. Such a great melody on this one. Blues-rock at its finest. There's a drum solo by Forrest Robinson here and it's pretty amazing if I'm being honest. I love that they left it in because it's one of the things that make live shows so cool. It doesn't disappoint. The dude can slam the cans. "Down in the Delta" is the penultimate tune on the record and it's a riff-heavy track that really showcases how tight the band is. It's a hard rock song at its heart which is ironic because its title would lead you to believe otherwise. Fantastic track. The record ends with "Feelit" and it's a jam track that spans well over ten minutes. They are playing around and having a great time and it really bleeds through. Perfect way to end the record.
As far as live albums go this one is pretty special. It's a band with four members from varying genre background that come together and just make a rockin' album. I really loved it front-to-back and I think you will too. It's dope. Pick it up next year.