While on the scene at Hangout 2011, the phone rang. On the other end of the line was a gentleman who had “an act that was about to release an EP.” He thought that the artist would be a perfect fit for our little Southern Journal of Jam and was imploring that we check him out when he passed nearby on a tour that would lead up to Bonnaroo. The tour (Bonnaroo Buzz) would be headlined by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and opened by the Futurebirds and a little known artist from Austin that the publicist said was one of the most promising acts he had seen in “a long time.”Â He was referring to Gary Clark, Jr. and he could not have been more right. During the call, he suggested that if we “liked what we heard that we should consider something deeper.”
Though acoustic performances had been something that had intermittently been published, it was from this phone call and a subsequent meeting with Clark that officially birthed Honest Tune’s Live, Backstage & Unplugged series was born.
Fast-forward to this year. A similar call came in from the same Warner Brothers label. On the line was a excited representative who was referring a band as “the pride of Durham, North Carolina.” She went on to describe their sound as “Americana meets alternative meets bluegrass meets pop.”Â The band is Delta Rae and off the top, we were enthused by these statements.
Consisting of three siblings, Brittany, Ian & Eric HÃ¶lljes along with Elizabeth Hopkins, Mike McKee and Grant Emerson, the ensemble — that rides high on the four part boy/girl harmonies created by the HÃ¶lljes and Hopkins — creates a sound that is near hypnotic. Though entrenched in soul flavors that are unique to the South, it is as relevant as it is raw and possesses a quality that leaves room for even the most mainstream casual listener. Further, their visual appeal is just as satisfying; not only by their inherited good looks but also with their live show that elementally draws from theatre.Â In short, Delta Rae is a complete package.
After a deeply listening to the the band’s forthcoming LP and major label debut, Carry the Fire (due 6/15/12 on Sire Records), there was no doubt that we wanted them to be included in the now tried and true Live, Backstage & Unplugged series.
Fortunately, they agreed and as luck would have it, the band made a stop at Birmingham’s WorkPlay on the way to the Hangout Music Festival where it was abundantly clear that they are identically as capable of displaying that same provocative sound to a live audience as they are to a producer behind a glass window.
What has happened with Gary Clark, Jr. since that first meeting is now quite well known. He has gone from a musician that was well known around Austin to one that is becoming more and more well known around the globe as each day passes. And though the sound of Delta Rae is nothing like that of Clark’s, its similarity is in the fact that it may very well be what drives the band to an identical catapult toward success this year.
So sit back, relax and enjoy as Honest Tune and GrooveStreet.TV proudly and exclusively present Delta Rae: Live, Backstage & UnpluggedÂ along with photos from the evening in Birmingham that transpired.
Delta Rae: “Bottom of the River”
For more on Delta Rae including a free download of the studio version of “Bottom of the River” and free live album, head over to www.DeltaRae.com
Click the thumbnails to view photos from the night in Birmingham (5/15/12) by David Shehi…
— Honest Tune Magazine (@HonestTuneMag) June 6, 2012