Delta Rae shows it can “carry” a tune

Courtesy: Warner Bros. Records/Sire Records

Durham, North Carolina based Delta Rae’s debut album, “Carry The Fire” is a rock solid debut.  The band’s sound–in terms of the general music and the vocalists’ own styles–makes this band one that really stands out among the masses.  It could be argued that when it’s all said and done, Delta Rae’s debut is a darkhorse candidate for one of the year’s best albums.

The band expertly balances pop with blues, bluegrass, gospel and other musical styles without losing listeners throughout any of the album’s twelve songs.  Listeners will have an easy time finding any number of favorites on this record.  Among some of the finest pieces that the band offers are the spiritual-esque ‘Bottom of the River’, ‘Dance in The Graveyeard’, and ‘Fire.’  They are, again just a small portion of the whole that is an impressive debut.

‘Bottom of the River’ is one of the prime examples of what makes “Carry The Fire” such an outstanding work.  Singer Brittany Holljes’ gritty vocals in the song are overwhelming to say the least.  That’s not a bad thing on this song, either.  Little subtleties such as the barely there piano riff and the backing chorus effect really help to add a whole extra level of enjoyment to the song.  She really shows her abilities when she gets to the song’s climax, singing, “Don’t you lift him, let him drown alive\The good Lord speaks like a rolling thunder\Let that fever make the water rise\and let the river run dry.”  It’s one of those moments that will put goosebumps on any music lover’s arms.

Of course, she has another of those moments later in the song, ‘Fire.’  The song itself is obviously about a relationship gone bad.  She sings, “It won’t be pretty\I ain’t no girl cried wolf\I’ll bring the whole **** city\They’ll come from miles around just to see how you cut me down\We used to be friends\but that ain’t true now\You poisoned the well, now I can’t tell who’s on my side.”  That moment builds to a huge climax in which she actually powers out a slight scream, moving into the song’s chorus.  That tiny moment speaks volumes.  It serves to really express the emotion put into writing the song.  Again, it’s one of those moments that will just push audiences back in awe of her vocal abilities.

Brittany Holljes isn’t the only vocalist to show some musical prowess on Delta Rae’s debut.  Brother Ian gets his moments to shine, too.  And on ‘Dancing in he Graveyard’, he really shines, along with the entire band.  Despite what the title may make it seem like, it’s a really celebratory song.  Holljes sings on this song, “When I die, I don’t want to rest in piece\I want to dance in joy\I want to dance in the graveyards, the graveyards\and while I’m alive\I don’t want to be alone\mourning the ones who came before\I want to dance with them some more\let’s dance in the graveyards.”  It comes acros as a song that celebrates life, even when we have lost someone who was close to us. Plain and simple, it’s a beautiful, moving song that’s bound to become just one more of the band’s anthems as it tours the country in support of its debut.

“Carry The Fire” is a solid album from beginning to end.  Its songs run the gamut both in sound and emotion.  It’s one of those works that will give every listener a favorite song, if not many favorite songs.  It’s so impressive that given the right support, it may well be the beginning of something great for this band.

Delra Rae is currently out on tour.  And the band’s North Carolina fans haven’t been left out.  The band will make a stop at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, North Carolina Friday, July 27th.  That who is designated a hometown album release show.  It will perform at the Bele Chere Festival in Asheville the next day, and then at Kelly’s in Nags Head on Thursday, August 23rd.  Fans can keep up with any more tour dates and the latest from the band online at, on Facebook at, on Myspace at, on Twitter at, and on its own Youtube channel at

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