Who: Delta Rae & Jeanne Jolly
What: New Moon Rising Tour
When: July 9, 2016
Where: The Tally Ho Theatre – Leesburg, VA
This was my fourth time seeing Delta Rae–they’re a great and energetic live band, and I knew they would be fun to photograph–though it’s difficult to get photos of everyone in a six-piece band from a static vantage point!
My last show of theirs was an acoustic holiday show late last year, so it was nice to hear several new songs that they’ve been working on in the interim between the two tours. One of Delta Rae’s defining features is that they basically have four lead singers–they’re constantly trading off on lead vocals and meshing together with four-part harmonies, which both lend a great variety to their music. Their newest music isn’t recorded yet, but their 2015 album After It All (iTunes / Spotify) is more than worth a listen in the meantime!
There were two particularly poignant moments in the set. The first came courtesy of a solo performance of “The Meaning of It All“ by pianist/guitarist Eric Holljes, who revealed that the song came from a place of trying to reconcile ambitions and career goals with family and band dynamics while working on their last record (two of his siblings are also in the band.) The song was powerful on the record even without the backstory, but knowing the origin of the song and knowing that they’re all back on the same page makes the live performance even more special.
The second was a performance of the song “All Good People,” which the band released last summer in the wake of the Charleston church shooting. In light of last week’s events, it still conveys a much-needed message.
I’m looking forward to hearing Delta Rae’s next album–the new music sounded promising, and a few of the songs were stuck in my head after just one listen. Want a YouTube preview? Check out “I Moved South,” a song about relocating to the Carolinas to follow a collective musical dream, or “The Wrong Ocean,” a lovely four-part harmony take on that “moved to California, decided it wasn’t right for me” story that a suspiciously large number of musicians seem to have.
Jeanne Jolly, a big-voiced singer-songwriter also from North Carolina, started the night with a solid set of soulful original songs as well as a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Every Grain of Sand,” a choice also inspired by last week’s unfortunate news headlines. She released an album last year called A Place to Run (iTunes / Spotify), and a good part of her set drew from that material. The track “California,” a mournful examination of loss and leaving, was a standout.
(Really…has anyone ever done an analysis of songs about leaving California? I swear, for every song about going to California–and there are a lot of those!–there’s one about leaving.)