Delta Deep is socially conscious blues-rock-n-soul from Phil Collen of Def Leppard. He’s pooled together the talents of Rob DeLeo (bassist/Stone Temple Pilot), Forrest Robinson (drummer/TLC, India.Arie, Engelbert Humperdinck, Joe Sample & The Crusaders) and Debbi Blackwell-Cook (who formerly sang background vocals for Michael Buble, Gregory Hines, she also sang background vocals WITH Luther Vandross before his solo career) to create DELTA DEEP. Although DELTA DEEP has a stunning musical pedigree the band’s true goal is to create music that revives an appreciation for the blues and the people who originated that music. The band uses their diverse musical background to explore, meld, and showcase a variety of original soulful melodies that merge rock and blues music into a colorful array of unforgettable songs.
Eight of the eleven songs debuted on DELTA DEEP’s new album were written by Phil, his wife Helen, and Debbi Blackwell-Cook. Their concept-driven approach to songwriting has led to an incredibly diverse record that pulls from influences that range from Robert Johnson to BB King to Led Zeppelin to Billie Holiday to Earth Wind & Fire. DELTA DEEP has been described as ‘what Led Zeppelin would sound like with Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan singing lead.” The album also features special guests such as Paul Cook-drums (Sex Pistols) and Simon Laffy-bass (GIRL) on ‘Black Coffee; David Coverdale (Whitesnake) dueting with Debbi Black-Well-Cook on ‘Private Number’, and Collen’s Def Leppard band mate Joe Elliott who duets with Debbi on the classic remake of ‘Mistreated’. CJ Vanston, who has produced such greats like Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, TOTO, and Tina Turner to name a few, lends his impressive organ playing skills as he special guests on ‘Burnt Sally’.
There is also a depth of human interest beneath the tightly produced veneer of DELTA DEEP. The band’s drummer/percussionist Forrest Robinson hails from Memphis, Tennessee and endured immense bullying because of his love of heavy metal. Yet, due to his incredible skill as a dedicated drummer, consistently found himself ‘sitting in the pocket’ for noted hip-hop, jazz, and r-n-b artists instead. Meanwhile the vivacious and breathtakingly beautiful Debbi Blackwell who at 62 years old is a grandmother of 10, mother of 5 (with her oldest son being 46 years old and her youngest son who was chief sound engineer for Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD who at 26 years old was lost to gun violence early 2013) has many stories to share about her professional and personal life through the years that took her from singing in the church at 2 years old to getting married at 16 years old, becoming a well-known theatrical actress, singing for the Pope, having a dedicated following in Germany, and even singing alongside the late Luther Vandross as they both worked in the shadows together as backup singers in the 1980’s. DELTA DEEP has provided a release valve that has allowed her to express her pain, suffering, gratitude, and ultimate joys that have happened in her life. Beyond that – the sense of pan-racial unity found in Collen’s and DeLeo’s comprehensive worldviews due to their decades long experiences of extensive traveling, constantly meeting people and experiencing multi-faceted cultures around the world helps to evidence that this is a blues band for the 21st century, playing top notch music and who are hyper aware of their socially creative message. As the band prepares for its very first appearance in New York City on Friday September 11th at 8pm at The Players NYC, they are eager for the world to hear what grown folks music sounds like.”