Music and family harmonize in Delta Rae's success

Music with a North Carolina flare

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - After taking one step inside the Neighborhood Theater in Noda, it was obvious that there is something different about Delta Rae's sound. It combines family harmony with southern flare.

Performing live, the six-piece band is in their element. Several moving parts blend together to create an electric sound.

Their new album, "After it All," is very good. But, trust me, a band like this is meant to be enjoyed live, when possible.

WBTV caught up with the North Carolina band last week, before their concert in Charlotte.

Singer-songwriter Ian Holljes said how happy he was to be back in North Carolina.

"Every time we come back to North Carolina, we look forward to it so much," Holljes said.

Ian and his brother Eric do the "lion's share of the writing" for the band.

The brothers were both born in the Raleigh-Durham area.

Their younger sister Brittany, and Liz Hopkins round out the band's powerful vocals.

In case you are wondering, drummer Mike McKee and bassist Grant Emerson are also from the Tar Heel State.

"It's like being part of a team," said Holljes. "There is no greater feeling than having your siblings and your best friends on stage with you and having your back."

After leaving North Carolina for part of their lives, the three Holljes siblings decided to make Durham their permanent home.

Delta Rae was formed back in 2009 in "a house in the woods" in north Durham, Holljes explained.

While the band was formed here in North Carolina, the group's success has taken them on an incredible journey.

They were signed by Warner Brothers Records.

They've played Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Farm Aid and Hangout Festival.

Delta Rae has also performed on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "Conan."

It's all a far cry from their humble beginnings, sometimes playing empty neighborhood bars.

"There have been times, early on, when we would come play a venue and you would have ten to fifteen people in the crowd. We've played to the barkeeper by himself," Holljes laughed. "We've had those days. Now to come to any given city in the U.S. and be guaranteed there will be between 200 and 1000 people in the audience is a real gift and it's something we don't take for granted."

Delta Rae is not only a family band. It is a working band.

In a given year, band members spend between 200 and 250 days on the road, according to Holljes.

Between gigs, they are typically listening to the artists who inspire them.

"Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, where songwriting is at the core," Drummer Mike McKee said.

By the way, Lindsey Buckingham, of Fleetwood Mac fame, recorded his signature guitar sound on Delta Rae's hit, 'If I Loved You.'

So, what is next for Delta Rae?

In an effort to reach more fans, Delta Rae is trading in a tour bus for an airplane. This week, the band is playing a few shows in Europe.

They will be far from home, but Holljes said they always take their North Carolina pride with them.

"North Carolina is just a place that we take a lot of pride in being from," Holljes said. "We try to be good ambassadors to the state when we go elsewhere. We love North Carolina."

This summer, Delta Rae will be back on the road here in the U.S., playing almost a dozen shows in the southeast.

If you want to check them out for yourself, you can see three videos on Youtube below:

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