“Overall, Delta Deep has a solid, coherent album with only one big misstep…”
Artists such as Muddy Magnolias, The Alabama Shakes, Adia Victoria, Tameca Jones, Southern Avenue, and Vintage Trouble have reignited my love of Roots Rock over the past few years. So I was a bit prepared for Delta Deep’s ‘East Coast Live’ album. The group shows every bit of its deep roots in Blues, Rock, and Soul to create the feel of a Southern Blues show that you skipped Sunday night revival to attend.
Led by frontwoman Debbi Blackwell-Cook, whose résumé includes backing the likes of Michael Buble and Gregory Hines, sets tracks on fire with her growl one minute (‘Bang the Lid’) and her sugary sweet coo the next (‘Treat Her Like Candy’). And whether she’s wailing along with Phil Collen’s screaming guitar solos or harmonizing with his vocals, she brings a magnetic energy to the music reminiscent of Tina Turner and Joyce Kennedy. And, yes, that’s Phil Collen of 80s Hair Metal band Def Leppard along with Stone Temple Pilots’ bassist Robert DeLeo and Joe Sample/Crusader’s drummer Forrest Robinson. Blackwell-Cook and Collen perfectly display the teamwork and camaraderie that has coloured their union since founding the group.
‘East Coast Live’ is an album for Rock lovers whether its Roots, Classic, or Blues. Not surprising with such an impressive pedigree among all four members of the group. It’s the closest thing to actually sitting in the Blues club with your drink in hand or enjoying yourself at that summer festival, the one with the good live music.
Overall, Delta Deep has a solid, coherent album with only one big misstep, the track ‘Black Coffee’, a misguided attempt at racial commentary and liberal universality. Fortunately, it’s not enough to mar something that was a lot of fun, at least not for me. Otherwise, I say turn it up and bang your head—if you’re so inclined.
Words by Inda Lauryn