Delta Rae – Carry the Fire

With the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Summer Olympics just around the corner, I thought I would take the opportunity to write about Delta Rae and their newly released album, Carry the Fire.  (I featured the band previously in the post, “Chain on Love,” which continues to receive visitors and remains one of the most popular posts on my blog. “Chain on Love” is the title of a song that brothers Ian and Eric Holljes wrote in response to the Amendment One vote in NC).  Delta Rae is an Americana rock band featuring six talented musicians from North Carolina:

Ian Holljes (vocals/guitar)
Eric Holljes (vocals/keyboard/guitar)
Brittany Holljes (vocals/percussion)
Elizabeth Hopkins (vocals/percussion)
Mike McKee (drums)
Grant Emerson (bass)

I first became aware of this band when a fellow classmate from the music program at UNC-Wilmington joined the group in 2010.  Grant’s excitement and enthusiasm surrounding the group and their music has been apparent since the very beginning.  The bond between the players is, in fact, one of the motivations behind their music and increasing success.  The focus has always been the bond between the members and a spirit of hope reflected in their music and lyrics.  Members of Delta Rae seem to reflect a true passion and appreciation for emotional expression through the arts, lively musical performance, and for the relationships that are strengthened as a result.  Over time, people have come to know and love this band on tour and at home in Durham, NC.  In 2011, Seymour Stein in NYC realized their unique and captivating sound and have since been signed with Warner Bros. Records.  Delta Rae’s successes have been mounting ever since.

  • “Bottom of the River” claimed over a quarter million views and several thousand approvals on YouTube (watch & listen below).
  • Delta Rae (Brittany Holljes as the public face) was selected for Rolling Stone’s Women Who Rock Campaign (the results will be posted July 31!)
  • They have made their national TV debut, appearing on Jay Leno live.
  • And they have been featured in a variety of news and culture sources, including The Washington Post, The New York Post,, and on the cover of Indyweek, covering progressive culture and arts in the research triangle and surrounding area in North Carolina.

Delta Rae represents what every artist and musician desires at some point or another – internal and external recognition, acceptance, approval, enjoyment and excitement for their music, creativity, message, and passion.  Tomorrow, Delta Rae will be performing an album release show at the Cat’s Cradle just outside their hometown in North Carolina.  It is my hope that Delta Rae will continue to “carry the fire” in their hearts, minds, and throughout society for years to come, building strength in a common bond and message of hope.


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