Saturday, June 20, 2015

Delta Deep : s/t

This new project is a strange marriage of unlikely partner it finds Stone Temple Pilots bassist and Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen digging down to play some Mississippi blues with Debbi Blackwell Cook who made a name for her self as a backing vocalist for the upper tier of jazz and r&b stepping into  the spotlight. One thing interesting about this album is that you really hear that Collen's chops go beyond pouring some sugar on him as his fills are perhaps more fluid than when some like Jeff Beck has dipped into similar territory. He does use more of a rock gain on the solos. You do hear hints of his more typical  rock playing "Down In the Delta" , which also has a big arena rock chorus. Cook's tough alto works similar to Tina Turners over rock. But hearing even Collen's rock playing out of the context of  his hysterical soccer mates, shows that he is a seriously under rated player. There is a smooth groove and vocal exchange between Cook and Collen on " Treat Her Like Candy". The  Stevie Ray Vaughn like strut to "Miss Me" is one of the albums most radio friendly moments.

The tackle some roadhouse blues in a manner more authentic than even Led Zepplin's first two albums. The organ flowing under this song gives them the edge to accomplish this. David Coverdale shows up for the duet on "Private Number" without it sounding like a Whitesnake song. Its funny that they also cover a Deep Purple song  later in the album since Coverdale did a stint with that band as well. Collen lends his voice to "Shuffle Sweet" resulting in something that sounds more like it could have appeared on one of the more recent Def Leppard albums. Collen begins to take over the mic on "Black Coffee" with  he and Cook sharing equal time on "Feel It".

Since Deep Purple is one of my favorite classic rock bands I had high expectations for "Mistreated". Their version hits with the same hard rock pump. Joe Elliots steps up to the task and clears the bar that was set pretty high by the mighty Ian Gillan, before Cook does take hold of the second verse to grant the song the more fitting vocal acrobatics.If you were a fan of that Badlands supergroup that Jake E Lee was a part of you can find a lot of common ground here. It makes sense that this era of rock would come to the cross roads with blues, there has been a lot of common ground as far as playing is concerned to this feels pretty natural and considering the caliber of musicians has to deliver if you are a fan of any of their previous work , it is worth your time and if you are skeptical but love the blues it is worth checking out to make you a believer.

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