Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen is getting ready to release a new album with his band Delta Deep on June 23. Before that, though, we have an exclusive premiere of the song “Private Number,” which features guest vocals by Whitesnake’s David Coverdale.

You can listen to it below.

Collen tells Ultimate Classic Rock that the seeds for Delta Deep, his new band with singer Debbi Blackwell-Cook, Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo and drummer Forrest Robinson began in 2012 when he started to casually jam with Blackwell-Cook, with the pair playing and singing Motown and blues songs acoustically at home.

“We’d sit around playing acoustic and just singing,” he recalls. “She’s just got this amazing voice. It led us into peoples' front rooms, like with an acoustic and we did a little charity thing and everyone’s going, ‘Wow, where can we buy this?’ And we’re going, ‘We have no idea -- it’s just kind of us goofing around.’ So we started writing songs and when we got the band together, it took on a completely different light.

"We didn’t expect it to sound like that," he continues. "We were rehearsing the other day and it almost sounded like Rage Against the Machine in parts. It just went full on with this expressive kind of feel.It’s very hard to describe. I think the great thing is when you get a muse, the trick is to follow it. You don’t restrict it in any way and that’s really what we did."

Delta Deep’s debut features a mix of covers and originals, and stylistically it isn’t confined to any one genre. The sound of the band is something that evolved very organically, according to the guitarist. “When the Stones first came out, they were a blues band,” he says. “They were disciples of the blues, and it just led them somewhere else and they just followed it, as did Led Zeppelin. It wasn’t made up or contrived -- we just followed that thing.”

Coverdale shares vocals with Blackwell-Cook on “Private Number,” a soul classic written by William Bell and Booker T. Jones. Originally, Collen had his eye on having Coverdale contribute vocals to their version of Deep Purple’s “Mistreated,” but those plans were revised once he learned that Coverdale had already recorded a new version of the song for his own album. But the legendary singer wanted to be a part of the project and suggested that they give “Private Number” a shot. When he recorded his vocals for the song, he turned in a performance that was appropriately raw without any added effects.

“I hadn’t heard him sing like that for years,” Collen says. “It’s always been within a rock context and he has a lot of soul in his voice. It’s just wonderful and refreshing to actually hear him [like that]. I remember when I was a kid, I actually saw him. My first concert was Deep Purple, with Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Gillan. But I also saw David, and I was a huge fan. So it’s really nice to go back to that.”

Delta Deep’s first live performance takes place on June 17, and they’re planning more tour dates later this year. Things have been so productive that they are in the planning stages for the next album.

“We’ve already started writing, and there’s five songs -- six including that one -- and we haven’t even started,” he says. “It’s going even further, pushing the boat out. It’s got some stuff that reminded me of very early James Brown or Little Richard, when these guys were just fusing early rock 'n' roll with blues and gospel and stuff. It wasn’t planned -- it’s just some of these songs come out like that when we’re sitting in a room. They just appear like that. So that’s really cool.”

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