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article imageA conversation with Def Leppard's Phil Collen and Delta Deep Special

By Markos Papadatos     Sep 12, 2015 in Music
Def Leppard's Phil Collen sat down and chatted with Digital Journal about his blues side project Delta Deep with Debbi Blackwell-Cook and Forrest Robinson.
They performed at The Players in New York City. "We had a sound-check and it is great and everything is wonderful," Collen said.
Their song "Bang The Lid" features soaring vocals from Debbi Blackwell-Cook. "I actually injured my tendon coming off the boat, and I had to have it stitched back on, so while I was healing I learned to play slide guitar, and that was the first thing we came up with," Collen said. "It ended up being about slavery and actually killing a slave-master. It's a mystery and it wrote itself and it pulls you into the story. We started with one thing and it turned into something else."
While Robert DeLeo may not be a part of them tonight, due to a previous commitment, Debbi noted that his spirit is still there. "Even in rehearsal, it was just touching us," she said.
Delta Deep performing live in New York City
Delta Deep performing live in New York City
Gary Hahn
When asked about their personal favorite songs on their Delta Deep album, Forrest Robinson responded "Down In the Delta," while Debbi picked "Whiskey" and Collen selected "Treat Her Like Candy." "Honest to God, I don't have a favorite. I can't choose," Debbi said.
The group revealed that they would like to tour in the future. "Make no mistake. It is largely acoustic-focus tonight, as a trio. Obviously, Phil and Debbi have made double rounds as a duet, and it works as a trio and a quartet. With a full band though, it's another animal," Robinson said. "It feels like Robert is blowing music kisses. Even though the bassist is not here, I know he is here."
Delta Deep performing live in New York City
Delta Deep performing live in New York City
Gary Hahn
Most impressive about tonight's performance is that they dedicate it to the "angels" of September 11, 2001, as well as to Debbi's son who was murdered 2.5 years ago. "We are blessed to be able to say, let's give them and their families some love," Debbi said.
Phil Collen playing with Delta Deep
Phil Collen playing with Delta Deep
Gary Hahn
For Debbi, the Chaka Kahn comparisons of her vocals are a major compliment. "I was brought up in a church, and I used to sneak and sing to Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and Chaka Kahn. They motivated me and inspired me," she said.
"Thank you for the support," Debbi said for her fans. "I pray that it does for them what it does for us. It is healing and inspiring."
Phil Collen playing with Delta Deep
Phil Collen playing with Delta Deep
Gary Hahn
For Delta Deep, Collen noted that the word success means "fulfilling a quest, and getting the band together and making the album and creating a new sound."
To learn more about Delta Deep, check out their official website.
More about Phil Collen, Delta Deep, Def Leppard
 
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