Delta Rae Live In Studio

When this North Carolinian band walked in, they were carrying the normal variety of instruments such as guitars and basses, except the last member who was carrying a very beat-up silver trash can. It was apparent that this wasn’t going to be just any day in the studio. There was high energy all around, everyone was excited for Delta Rae.

Delta Rae is made up of six members, three of them siblings, and it is immediately easy to spot who as they are all bright blondes. Their blues/folk/rock sound is loud and reverberating. The siblings grew up listening to artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Cat Stevens, and this influence is heard in their songs. Delta Rae got their start not too long ago but their popularity has quickly risen.

Their debut album, Carry the Fire, is strong and filled with gems, three of which they played for WERS. The first of these is the melancholy “If I Loved You”. Elizabeth is the other singer, the only one who is not one of the siblings, and started off the song with strength — just her and the guitar. The siblings join in on the “oohs”. This song sports some of Delta Rae’s trademark vulnerability as Elizabeth sings, “If I loved you, life would be easy/there’d be no truth that I’d be scared of [...] but I don’t love you, not like I want to/I don’t love you and that makes it hard”.

This band’s name comes from the sibling’s mother, who told a story of a southern girl (named Delta Rae) who summoned the Greek gods to earth. This blending of old folk ideas and feelings, mixed with new intensity and tenderness makes up their gorgeous sound.

In the break between set up and getting on air, one of the siblings asks politely to use the piano and spends the time picking out and laying down some beautiful melodies. There next song had this element of beauty mixed with a more joyful rundown. Dance in the Graveyard made everyone tap their feet, with much clapping and drumming. This band definitely knows how do to an intro. The oldest sibling took the lead on this song, the most joyful of their set with the chorus, “I don’t want to rest in peace/I want to dance in joy/I want to dance in the graveyards.”

This band is made up of some really amazing voices, four out of six members sing and they all have great strength. Elizabeth Hopkins has old voice sound and Brittany has a low down powerhouse of a voice. The girls can really belt it and the harmonies are spot on. This was especially apparent in their last song “Bottom of the River”, their first single and definitely a favorite. Everyone was moving to the clapping and drum beats. The sound begins with just Brittany and brings in the sound of the chains in the trashcan, a powerful, slamming and maybe a bit haunting sound.

When it was over the band packed up their chains and tambourines, already talking about getting on the road to the next place. As I held the door Brittany said, “Thank you, darlin’” and they were off, seeming excited to bring their music to more avid listeners.

By Sofia Drummond-Moore
Photo by Stevie Dunbar

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