Delta Rae | 01.27.13

deltaray sq“Rain don’t change the sun/Jealous is the night when the morning comes.”

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Old Rock House, St. Louis

Promoting their debut album Carry the Fire, headliner Delta Rae took control of the Old Rock House stage to deliver a solid American folk rock set to the Sunday evening crowd. Hailing from Durham, N.C., the band is comprised of the three Holljes siblings—Ian (vocals and guitar), Eric (vocals, guitar and keyboard) and Brittany (vocals)—bassist Grant Emerson, vocalist Elizabeth Hopkins, and percussionist Mike McKee.

Delta Rae’s opening song, the rousing, choir-like “Morning Comes,” immediately grabbed the crowd’s attention before delving into the soft, slow build of “Holding on to Good.” Hopkin’s passionate, bluesy vocal lead on “If I Loved You” and “Unlike Any Other” showcased both her powerful rise and gentle fall, respectively. The band garnered thunderous applause with their showmanship of the visually captivating “Bottom of the River,” mixing eerie, a capella harmonies with precise percussion, most inventively the repetitious “thunk” created by dropping a short, heavy chain on an overturned metal trash can.

Other standouts were a well-honed version of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” and the rocking “Fire.” Delta Rae closed with the inspirational and energizing “Dance in the Graveyard,” which was the feel-good moment of the show. Obeying the enthusiastic cheer for an encore, Delta Rae returned, providing an intimate opportunity, encouraging the audience to encircle them on the floor level as they performed a refreshingly-unplugged rendition of “Hey, Hey, Hey.”

Opener Sam Palladio, a British actor, musician, and songwriter with matinee-idol looks and perfectly tousled hair, is gaining popularity in the States for his current role as aspiring musician and all-around good guy Gunnar in the new ABC drama Nashville. Although he considers himself primarily an actor, it is evident he is also a gifted musician.

After taking the stage and welcoming the crowd for his “first American show,” he opened with the floating, tender “Simple Love Song for You,” providing an early glimpse of his masterful guitar work and beautiful harmonies with vocalist/violinist/mandolin player Erin Slaver that would infuse his 45-minute acoustic set. With affable charm, Palladio joked that his St. Louis debut also qualified as “the last night of his two-day tour,” having just performed a two-song solo set the previous evening at the Grand Ole Opry. His easy stage banter with Slaver and percussionist Siggi Birkis further enhanced the relaxed atmosphere of the venue.

Following the energetic “A Thousand Miles Away From Your Heart,” Palladio introduced a song he co-wrote with legendary songwriter and Nashville star J.D. Souther, the soul-baring, soaring “Lay Down Your Love.” The peppy, textbook indie rock “Storyteller” was well received, as was the gentle, simplistic crowd pleaser “When the Right One Comes Along” from the Nashville soundtrack. Palladio shared the personal story behind his penning “Wake Me Up in Nashville,” an up-tempo nod to his grandfather. He closed the show with the intense, yet earnest “Play for You, My Mother.”

Palladio hinted at plans to tour more U.S. cities in the future, and didn’t rule out the possibility of a solo project down the road. For now, he can be heard on The Music of Nashville (Original Soundtrack) and, of course, heard and seen on Nashville. | Sara Boyd

Delta Rae continues their U.S. Carry the Fire tour through July 2013.

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