It’s sometimes hard to blend different music genres into one cohesive style, but Delta Deep does wonders combining Blues-heavy licks, soulful R&B melodies and passion, and the hard edges of Rock and Roll. The best way to capture the raw emotions and energy from that unique sound is live and onstage in front of a crowd of cheering fans. And luckily Delta Deep released a new live album and it’s a banger!
“East Coast Live” was recorded at Daryl’s House in Pawling, New York and it showcases the band’s talent of live audience banter, as they completely kill it on stage. The live album starts off with an exciting pitch to the crowd, “We don’t want to entertain. We want to party together!” A promise lead singer Debbi Blackwell-Cook (backing vocals of Michael Buble and the late Luther Vandross) keeps through Delta Deep’s entire set. I mean, how could you not appreciate a hard-hitting Blues rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog,” as the show opener?
As the set goes on, the music gets more intense one song after another, as a great way to highlight the band’s strength as a four piece. Guitarist Phil Collen’s (Def Leppard) intense shredding, bassist Robert DeLeo’s (Stone Temple Pilots) mellow and funky basslines, and drummer Forrest Robinson (India Arie) precious and keen improvisations. There’s even a drum solo track that will keep you impressed with Robinson’s work. You can easily see how each member comes from different musical backgrounds, but somehow finds common ground in the recording studio and on stage, as they come together as a band with some power.
Delta Deep makes a lasting impression on a listener through their fun and bouncy stage show, while not being too intimidating for those who aren’t familiar with the band members’ backgrounds or sound. “East Coast Live” works on a steady pace, but finds some heart as the band cools down their audience (and themselves) with a tuneful ballad called “Whiskey,” which Blackwell-Cook dedicates to her son, who she lost to gun violence. She gives some genuine emotion and pathos that you can really feel from her performance.
The band goes deep on tracks like “Bless These Blues” and “Mistreated” that keeps Delta Deep firmly in the Blues genre, while songs like “Black Coffee” and “Burnt Sally/Rock Me” puts the band in the Rock and Roll category. Live albums are not easy to pull off either. Some bands hide behind studio production tricks to sell their music to an audience, but with live albums, you have no place to hide. You’re naked on stage with only your talent, songs, and all out rawness to impress an audience at the venue, or the listener at home.
Overall, Delta Deep shows a lot of range and raw energy that earns them the power of this live album, while also staying true to their style and stage presence. “East Coast Live” also shows that one of the best ways to be introduced to a band you never heard before is through their sound on stage and in front of a live audience.
Songs – B
Performance – A-
Technical – B
Overall – B+