From a quiet, country house nestled deep within the Durham, North Carolina woods, Delta Rae fuses its inspired 4-part harmonies with a deep Carolina soul. Their full-throated vocal approach to epic “alt-pop” (with Southern folk influences) puts Delta Rae’s sound among contemporaries like Mumford and Sons, Brandi Carlile, and needtobreathe — acts that showcase huge harmonies, well-crafted lyrics, anthemic melodies, and some of the most compelling live shows on the rock club circuit.

In just a year and a half, Delta Rae has produced a diverse catalogue of original songs, an independently released EP, and a dynamic live experience that has attracted widespread attention from fans and artists alike.  Having headlined shows to sold-out crowds on both coasts and opened for popular artists like Carbon Leaf, Edwin McCain, Hanson, Rooney, and Vienna Teng, Delta Rae is establishing itself as one of the most impressive young bands in America.

Delta Rae appreciates and values its fans so much and, as such, is continually looking for opportunities to give back to them.  From February through May, they featured “gRAEt Mondays” – a campaign where the band released free downloads of new songs and covers to its fans (complete with backstories and cover art).  Fans can always find free music downloads under the “Free Music” tab on the homepage.  With the release of the gRAEt Mondays songs, combined with the new website, summer tour, and the other exciting surprises that await, 2011 stands to be Delta Rae’s breakout year.

 “It’s hard to deny when the real thing shows up. And they’re the real thing… I promise you you’re gonna be like ‘hey I was on a boat with them’ when you’re watching them on TV… They’re fantastic.” -Edwin McCain (Cayamo Cruise 2010)

“I think we should be opening for them…” -Isaac Hanson of Hanson (Livestream from The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC)

“Fresh out of the Bull City with a sound that recalls gospel choirs and big-vintage pop, Delta Rae welcomes summertime with soulful sounds that ring of timeless pop greats.” -The Daily Tar Heel


In early 2009, siblings Ian, Eric, and Brittany Holljes, together with their long-time friend Liz Hopkins, moved to a country house in the woods of North Carolina to pursue their life-long passions for making music.  The complete Delta Rae story, however, begins much earlier.

Born and raised in the South, the towheaded Holljes siblings eventually swapped their southern accents for west coast slang when they moved to San Rafael, CA in 1996, following their dad’s career as a toy inventor. Before long they met Elizabeth Hopkins, a vibrant brunette with a big voice, who would become a close friend to all three. Ian and Eric were quiet kids – known throughout their high school for their singing, songwriting, and as stars on the lacrosse field. Brittany was an early entertainer and renegade. In defiance of blonde stereotypes, she dropped out of high school as a sophomore and went straight to college, graduating from UC Berkeley at nineteen. Elizabeth was everybody’s friend – homecoming queen, singer extraordinaire, and owner of a contagious smile.

After high school, Ian and Eric returned to their Southern roots and enrolled at Duke University.  There, they started Running Lights, a popular campus band, heavily influenced by Coldplay and The Fray.  In 2007, after Ian graduated, Eric began working with Mike Posner, an up-and-coming singer/producer, with whom he wrote “Cooler Than Me” – a song that went double platinum and became one of 2010’s biggest hit singles.

At the same time, Ian went to work for one of America’s most revered authors, the late Reynolds Price, serving as his caretaker in the author’s quiet country home. While there, Ian began writing songs. Works like “Morning Comes”, “Darlin If”, and “Young and Pretty” were born out of his introspective experience with the legendary writer and cancer-survivor, whose radiation therapy left him in a wheelchair at the age of fifty.  Realizing that these songs needed singers of great emotional depth and power, Ian enlisted his siblings, and friend, Liz, to join him in North Carolina.  With Eric sharing songwriting duties and the girls bringing their characteristic vocal virtuosity, Delta Rae took shape.

In September 2009, the newly-formed quartet had their first rehearsal in the drafty, white house Ian had bought with the savings from his work with Reynolds. Nine months later, the Delta Rae EP was released, and has since sold over 4,000 copies. Soon after, they recruited the talented and respected Raleigh-based rhythm section – Mike McKee on drums and Grant Emerson on bass – and began touring extensively up and down the East Coast.

For all their success and growth in their first year together, Delta Rae remains a band born of friendship and family. Their music hinges on hope and a deep sense of meaning while their live show reflects the joy, passion, and deep bond they feel for each other, the music they create, and the amazing fans and friends who join them.


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