Part of a four-month tour that hits nearly every state on the east coast and a few in the south, North Carolina blues-rock band Delta Rae made, at least for this writer, a highly anticipated stop in Dallas this past weekend. Cloaked in red light, the North Carolina group took the stage at Club Dada on Saturday as part of their New Moon Rising tour. Whatever space was remaining in the only slightly less than full house, was soon claimed by the music created from this talented sextet.
What started as an upbeat show with old favorites like “Chasing Twisters” and “Morning Comes,” became a shade darker when blonde bombshell Brittany Holljes took center stage. Stating that she’s “somewhere in between” being happy and dejected about her current state of singledom, Holljes used the opportunity to belt out the break up ballad “Pay No Rent.”
Between interludes of interaction with the crowd was a bold and surprising cover of Blind Willie Johnson’s gospel song “John the Revelator.” Delta Rae also delighted the audience with several new songs that will (presumably) appear on their 2017 release. But it was the classics that really stole the show on Saturday night. Ever the crowd pleaser, “I Will Never Die” featured bassist Grand Emerson making a chilling instrument out of a dented metal trash can and linked chain.
In a surprise turn, the group blended a well-known number with an R&B tune from Rihanna. Delta Rae’s fans seem to be much unlike others – a fact that did not go unnoticed by pianist Eric Holljes when he took a moment to single out fans that attended more than one of their Texas shows.
Whatever space was left in Club Dada on Saturday night was reserved for the musical ability of these six talented individuals. While their two full-length albums do a great job showing the vocal prowess of Elizabeth Hopkins & Brittany Holljes, the energy the entire band exudes on stage is not to be missed. Fans that made the trip to Dallas Saturday night got an energetic show that was only matched by vocal ability and the band’s intent to surprise.
Nicole Hall is a music critic for American music magazine, Rattle. More of her writing can be found here.