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Delta Rae - Coming Home To Carolina
I am not into much of today's music, not necessarily because I have the traditional ‘old' position of modern music, just that I have a lot of other stuff on my plate. So when I look at a group like Delta Rae, on the surface my impression of them is that they're a slightly oversized country act, but looking further, their three albums thus far since forming appear on the folk and alternative music charts, which is intriguing, so I decided to take a longer look.
As it turns out, yes this is a big group! Six people appear on the cover of Coming Home to Carolina, another way of saying the band came home to North Carolina after forming in Durham in 2009. Three of the six people in the band are part of the same family; brothers Ian and Eric Holljes went to school at Duke and take on vocals and guitar, sister Brittany also handles vocals. Rounding out the sextet are Grant Emerson (bass), Mike McKee (drums) and Elizabeth Hopkins (vocals). 2012's debut album "Carry the Fire" and 2015's "After it All" were modest successes, with the latter cracking the Top 10 of Billboard's Folk chart.
It was their 2020 album "The Light" that served as a bit of kismet; after making several EPs on the Big Machine record label, they decided to leave the label, a decision made in advance of and not related to labelmate Taylor Swift's battles with the label to reclaim her master recordings. Delta Rae asked for help via the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, and the result was an effort that raised almost a half million dollars. "The Light," like their other works, featured stunning harmonics and a Mumford-esque use of various instruments in their work.
This show was done in nearby Raleigh a week before Christmas of 2019, and the setlist for this release is:
"Take Me There"
"Holding Onto Good"
"Out of the Badlands"
"Pay No Rent"
"Any Better Than This"
"If I Loved You"
"Bottom of the River"
"Dance in the Graveyards"
The show has a little bit of everything, bringing a nice symmetry with the Fleetwood Mac cover and "If I Loved You" (which Mac frontman Lindsey Buckingham appears on) both part of the set. The band has interviews between songs on occasion, but the show is the focus, done in an intimate venue whose name escapes me. The songs are generally fine, but the way that their performed is done with such passion and fun that it's kind of contagious.
By no means is Coming to Carolina fit my demographic, but ironically the music does not fit one demographic. It could be folk, country, a dusting of alternative, there are a lot of flavors going on in the stew. If and when people are able to get together and watch a band somewhere again, Delta Rae is worth your attention.The Disc:
The shows were filming using several 4K cameras and the result shows on the disc. Stage lighting is vivid, and black levels are sharp and consistent, with any noise inherent in the performance. Lighting is bright and not blown out, flesh tones in the scenes between songs are solid, and the disc is better than similar concert ones that I have seen lately (admittedly, not much).Audio:
Dolby Digital 5.1 and two-channel PCM, both of which are good choices. Crowd sounds in the surround mix are natural and immersive, the PCM brings a broad sound stage for the music. Vocal introductions or segues sound clear in the front channel and require little user adjustment. The music does get a chance to shine on the Blu-ray reproductions.Extras:
A slideshow accompanies the Blu-ray, but there are also DVD and CD versions of the concert for your delivery method of choice.Final Thoughts:
Coming to Carolina really does have something for a lot of musical tastes, even if you may come into it feeling a little skeptical, as I was. Technically, the show is a nice peach, and the supplements could have used a little bit of help, but otherwise, definitely worth a spin to allay your concert-less life of 2020 and 2021.