Delta Rae rocks onto Rolling Stone’s radar
The Bay Area takes great pride in musical acts that were born here: Huey Lewis famously sings the national anthem at major sporting events, the Grateful Dead are the freaking Grateful Dead, and Journey continues to echo through just every bar in The City.
Heck, Berkeley kids Green Day even had their anti-Bush album “American Idiot” turned into a musical.
Enter the new kids on the Bay Area music block: Delta Rae, a Marin-grown a cappella-group-turned-grown-up-band that has snagged the attention of rock-world-bible Rolling Stone to compete in their “Women Who Rock” campaign to get featured on the back cover of the magazine.
Comprising siblings Eric, Ian and Brittany Holljes, singer Elizabeth Hopkins, bassist Graham Emerson and drummer Mike McKee, Delta Rae’s debut album “Carry the Fire” landed them a spot on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and a sold-out gig at L.A.’s own Troubadour.
While the band is based out of the siblings’ home state of North Carolina, it was Hopkins’ and the Holljes’ clans teen experience in Marin a cappella group ‘Til Dawn that brought the band together.
While brothers Eric and Ian write most of the songs, it’s the female vocals in the band that will grab your ear and demand you listen. The epic raspy-ness of Hopkins voice rises up to meet the percussive thunderstorm of vocalist Brittany Holljes, an itty-bitty blonde with the voice of a 300-pound warrior queen.
Rolling Stone has aptly dubbed the group “Fleetwood Mac (come) up in North Carolina.” Delta Rae has a gritty-gospel-meets-electric-gypsy sound all its own.
Hopkins told the the IJ Delta Rae is “the underdog” in the magazine’s competition for “The Next Best Thing” honors, should they not win the “Women Who Rock” campaign.
It’s hard to listen to their single “Bottom of The River” and imagine them not achieving countrywide domination.