Delta Rae Rings Out At Bele Chere Music Fest

By Zan Parker on July 31, 2012


Asheville, NC’s 34th annual Bele Chere festival, a free street fiesta that brings artists to the public, swarmed downtown on Saturday. Life-sized alien dolls bobbed along in a crowd of preachers, protesters, kilt wearers, patchouli scented backpackers, and even a group of male joggers in flowing blue dresses. As the southern center for free spirits, Asheville is the perfect venue for creative exchange.

After sampling local fare (Corner Kitchen has a Reuben to die for), browsing the explosion of shops and street vendors, and pausing in an alleyway to enjoy an Irish folk ensemble, a peek down Biltmore Avenue revealed yet another stage. The band on deck, though still in sound check, exuded intensity. A catlike blonde stood at the mike with her slim arm extended skyward. My companions exchanged glances. Who are these guys?

Six performers readied themselves at the mikes. A first blast of song rushed out with big, rich, multi-part harmonies and swept down the packed avenue in a hurricane of sound, the rhythmic minors splitting open into a sunrise of major chords. Band members buckled and stomped under their relentless, homespun percussion (chains, hand claps, vocalizations). It was a southern gospel-rock war cry.

This is Delta Rae. Composed of three siblings, a friend, and two later recruits, the Durham, NC based band just signed with Warner Bros. Records last summer, and have released their first album, Carry the Fire. Read their bio here:

Elizabeth Hopkins, the aforementioned blonde, has a voice like ghosts talking to each other. It worked well for the haunting song, “Bottom of the River,” which stood out as the gem of the set. Band member Ian Holljes reported that the melody had first come to him in a dream, and he
woke up with the tune in his head.

After the first song’s shock of admiration leveled out, however, the group’s flaws began
to show. Often words were hard to understand, drowned out by the music’s melodrama. A
listen to recorded versions of the same songs revealed lyrics that are satisfactory, but stock
for the southern-rock genre, with themes and imagery of love, the south, rivers, boots, etc.
Several songs cease introducing new material early and repeat a single phrase over and over or
wordlessly vocalize . Such is the case with “Holding on to Good.”

Still, those mouth-watering harmonies alone were a satisfactory reward for an audience, and
Asheville’s crowd responded with enthusiasm. Paired with more vibrant writing, the result could
be magnificent.



Uloop Writer
I love God, theatre, nature, and language.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

More Uloop Entertainment Articles


2 Photos
1 bedroom sublease: move in immediately
8 Photos
2018 Summer Sub-leaser Needed
5 Photos
Summer sublease in Campus View, downtown Clemson
6 Photos
Sub-let for Summer 2018
8 Photos
1 BR CEV June-July Sublet
See all CLEMSON Housing Listings


Receive recent Clemson news and classifieds on your Facebook Feed. Click the button below and then click "Like"

Back to Top

Log In

or Sign Up
Post FREE Listings
Student Start Here
Post Jobs for Students
Employers Start Here
Housing Providers
Post Available Housing
Housing Start Here

Enter College Name to See Local Results

Log In

Contact Us

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.
By clicking Get Started or Sign In you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format