Delta Rae headlines Mountain Town Music Festival in Keystone |

Delta Rae headlines Mountain Town Music Festival in Keystone

Since the release of its debut album "Carry the Fire" in the summer of 2012 and 2013's follow-up EP "Chasing Twisters," Delta Rae has been profiled everywhere from NPR and Time to Forbes. Rolling Stone proclaimed that "if Fleetwood Mac came up in North Carolina, they might resemble Delta Rae." The band will play a set from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, at the Mountain Town Music Festival at Keystone Resort.
Jonathan Weiner / Special to the Daily |

Mountain Town Music Festival schedule

Saturday, Aug. 22

1:30-7:30 p.m. — Colorado Food and Beer Garden Open, River Run Village*

1:30-5:30 p.m. — KidsZone: Face painters and crafts, Buffalo Courtyard, free and paid activities

2-3:30 p.m. — Concert: Miner, River Run Main Stage, free

4-5:30 p.m. — Concert: Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, River Run Main Stage, free

6-7:30 p.m. — Concert: Delta Rae, River Run Main Stage, free

*Admission to the Mountain Town Music Festival at Keystone Resort is free, and tasting tickets are available for $1 each. The tickets can be used at all food and bar tents, and items are priced a la carte.

Durham, North Carolina, six-piece rock band Delta Rae will headline the second day of the Mountain Town Music Festival at Keystone Resort, with a set from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22. The Summit Daily News recently caught up with vocalist Elizabeth Hopkins to talk about the band’s newest album, touring the world and what sets Delta Rae’s music apart from the rest.

SUMMIT DAILY NEWS: For those who aren’t familiar with your music, describe your sound. What makes it unique and sets it apart from other Americana music?

ELIZABETH HOPKINS: Delta Rae has four lead singers. What sets it apart from other Americana music is we’re also a rock band. We are big vocals, big percussion. For me, our live show is a roller coaster: soaring harmonies, communal percussive breakdowns, twists, turns, steep climbs and rapid drops. We have a cozy Americana side to us, but it is accompanied by high energy and big, emotional pop hooks at the core of every song.

SDN: Tell me about your new album, “After It All.” How has your music evolved or matured on this album compared with your 2012 debut, “Carry the Fire”?

EH: “After It All” is more personal. When “Carry the Fire” came out, we hadn’t been a band very long. We’re much more comfortable in our own skin now that we’ve been together six years, and we have basically lived on the road for the past three. The new album is a reflection of our experiences touring cross-country. It’s very influenced by the Southwest; every time we drive through it, we’re in awe of that sweeping, stark landscape. Also, the personalities and distinctions between each vocalist are more apparent on “After It All.” You can tell that we became more of a rock band during the years between “Carry the Fire” and “After It All.” We’ve got a lot more mud on our shoes now.

SDN: What about the new album are you most proud of? Any particular song or songs that stand out or have a little deeper meaning for you?

EH: My favorite track on the album is “My Whole Life Long.” I am an old soul. The first records I fell in love with were by Motown and soul artists — Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Martha & the Vandellas, The Supremes, Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder. “My Whole Life Long” is a form of reverence to those timeless love songs and laid-back, sexy bass lines. The string parts on the track break my heart every time I hear them come in. There is sincerity there — it’s the same way the strings in “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (recorded by the Shirelles, written by Carole King) make me feel. It’s also an anthem for long-distance relationships, and as touring musicians, we all deal with that.

SDN: Your tour takes you straight from Germany to Keystone, and then you crisscross the country before heading back to Europe. What do you enjoy about performing in the U.S. versus performing in Europe? How is touring here different from there, and how is it similar?

EH: Most of our songs are inspired by American themes — the economic collapse of blue-collar industrial towns (“Bethlehem Steel”), the Wild West (“Chasing Twisters”) — so playing those songs in America, we know the audience may have a bit more historical and experiential context.

Europe is very new for us and very fun! Amsterdam and London are both crazy beautiful and artistic cities. One thing I love about Europe is you can get a shot of espresso literally anywhere. I was waiting for a train in the Netherlands and there was a barista with an espresso machine right on the platform. It was awesome. The crowds are smaller in Europe because we are just starting there, but they’re also very appreciative and excited to be at our show. I love seeing that “I can’t believe they came all the way over here!” look on a person’s face. Touring in Europe is similar to the U.S. in that it’s still the six of us on stage playing our music. That will always be the constant. That’s very grounding.

SDN: How have audiences been responding to your new material? Is there any specific song you’ve fallen in love with performing live?

EH: “Outlaws” is a fun rocker to perform live. It feels like the party is getting started and we’re inviting the audience to have a good time with us and let go a little bit. It’s cool seeing the crowd bob their heads and twist their hips to it. I also really enjoy singing “Cold Day in Heaven” — sometimes I just need to scream. Doesn’t everyone?

SDN: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers leading up to your show in Keystone?

EH: Make sure to check out our music video for “Scared,” we had a lot of fun with it. And come say hey after the show in Colorado! I love meeting and getting to know our listeners and hearing their thoughts and feelings about our show.

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