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Carry the Fire

125 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 19, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Delta Rae were signed by the legendary Seymour Stein himself; the first signing in quite a while. Stein is renowned for having a keen eye for new talent and had a hand in the careers of such iconic artists as the Ramones, Talking Heads, the Pretenders, Madonna, and The Smiths. Stein called the band "an important addition to our overall roster. Their music, all original, is a mix of blues, country and gospel with a strong rock and roll influence. I hate labels, but if forced I would have to call their music Original Americana,' not unlike what the English are sending over via Mumford & Sons and others. I'm very proud to welcome Delta Rae to Sire. I know you will love Delta Rae and their music as much as I do."


1. Holding On To Good
2. Is There Anyone Out There
3. Morning Comes
4. If I Loved You
5. Bottom Of The River
6. Country House
7. Surrounded
8. Dance In The Graveyards
9. Fire
10. Forgive The Children We Once Were
11. Unlike Any Other
12. Hey, Hey, Hey

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 19, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sire / Wea
  • ASIN: B008019EDK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,842 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Will Pearce on June 29, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I first caught Delta Rae about two years ago when they played in a converted kid's pizza restaurant in Raleigh, NC. Since then I've watched this sextet (three siblings + three friends, with four lead vocalists) grow up vocally, compositionally, and in their stage presence. What was a pleasant, talented folk-pop band has stretched into a powerful amalgam of pop, rock, and power folk-rock, all seasoned with a Southern country soul (think James Taylor in that regard, not anything coming from Nashville).

Carry the Fire represents a new stage in Delta Rae's development as a vocal and instrumental ensemble, with even greater levels of complexity, subtlety, and power. My top tracks (in no particular order) are:

* Holding On To Good - Sung by Brittany Holljes, this power pop-rock ballad swings from tender wistfulness to the stark realities of moving on from a relationship left behind. This song demonstrates Brittany's impressive dynamic range and ability to keep her voice "pure" throughout the soft and strong passages. Don't be surprised if you catch yourself thinking about that high school, college, or summer sweetheart you once had.

* Is There Anyone Out There - Singer Ian Holljes wrote this piece with brother Eric (and all other tracks on this album, for that matter); it may be the most epically poetic song on this album. Stylistically, I'd consider this an alt-rock offering (but hard-pressed to point to any similar sounding band or song); lyrically, it's a song about lost opportunities of the past and hope for the opportunities of the future.

* Morning Comes - Long one of my Delta Rae favorites (and one I consider a signature song for their sound), this is a working man's song of struggle, determination, and a belief that the new day will bring new hope.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By MPinaire on June 23, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My niece went to school in St Augustine, and introduced me to Delta Rae. I fell in love with the songs available for download, and have been waiting breathlessly for a CD release.

This band is absolutely terrific, top to bottom. The songs are anthems to life, and are sung perfectly. Dance in the Graveyards is a particular favorite among all the favorites on Carry the Fire. The band members are seamless, and take turns featuring each other in the music. How many performers are that willing to share? This is an excellent example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.

I can honestly say for the first time in years that I am really excited about a band. They take me back to the music of my youth in the late 60s and early 70s, but with a flair gained from the evolution gained since those halcyon days. It's a blend of southern rock, folk, motown, blues and gospel. It's truly an American sound. It's also nice to be able to actually hear the melody and the lyrics, not have them lost in crashing chords and shouting that is supposed to pass for "singing" in so much modern music, yet still be excellent music not canned "musak" of the bubble gum sort.

I loaded the CD on my computer here at work, and I am constantly being asked "who is that band?" I am happy to share Delta Rae with them.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Madeline on June 20, 2012
Format: Audio CD
A few years ago, I attended a Vienna Teng concert in my hometown of Chapel Hill, NC--and was blown out of the water by her local opening band---Delta Rae. It was a tiny packed coffee shop, the crowd was loud, and I awkwardly sat on my sister's lap for about half the show--but Delta Rae was simply magnetic, exuding a throbbing energy. I remember leaving the show going, "they are going to hit it big."

Fast-forward a few years and "Carry the Fire" is here. It's parts folk, rock and gospel--completely doused in Southern atmosphere. The four part harmonies are tight, and made even sweeter as three of the four singers are siblings. Combined with intelligent, soulful lyrics, this is music that is virtually timeless. Somehow it manages to stay clear of the popular "folk music" trends a la Mumford or Sharpe, by emphasizing vocals and lyrics above all. Little known fact--Eric Hölljes, the piano man, co-wrote "Cooler Than Me" with his friend Mike Posner when they attended Duke together (don't worry, there is nothing at all like that on the album--I just thinks it's well, cool).

I sincerely hope every single fan gets to see Delta Rae in concert, they are the only band I've ever seen with four equally important lead singers, yet can combine in explosive harmonies that just soar over each other. While I believe the boys (Eric and his brother Ian) write most of the songs, it's sister Brittany Hölljes and her friend Liz Hopkins though that make your chest tighten as you forget to breath.

I would be most remiss, if I didn't give special attention to "Bottom of the River." I don't really know of any other way to describe it as other than a spiritual or almost an old slave song. With the clanking chains, stomping feet, creepy piano and gutting lyrics-it's a song that I will listen to the rest of my life. It's transcendent.

For fans of quality, soulful music that leaves you in a better place than when you began listening.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. J. Parks on April 24, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I didn't care for the ballads on this album, but Delta Rae's other songs are stunningly strong and soulful: They evoke deep feelings. I was on the verge of giving this album 4 stars because of the ballads: I don't really care for sweet, softer music. But when it comes to their strengths, Delta Rae is amazing! "Bottom of the River" is reminiscent of old "Negro" spiritual songs; but because it is sung by the female lead, it has a sultry soulfulness to it. Her voice is full of depth. range, and strength. I bought this album primarily for the song "Fire," which I heard her sing in a "live performance" clip on Late Night with Carson Daly. She has pipes and she doesn't hold back. She has an electricity that is mesmerizing, and it comes through in her stronger vocals (i.e., not the ballads). This album is worth it just to hear those songs. "Dance in the Graveyards" is sung by the male lead and is fantastic, too, in a different way. The video of "Dance in the Graveyards" is visually stunning and fantastical, and it makes me cry for the people I have loved and lost: If only I could dance with them one more time. That video reinforced my desire to get their CD. Also search for the video of "Bottom of the River." Between the two, you'll get a feeling for the creativity of the group. Find the live performance video of "Fire," to experience a little bit of the power of Delta Rae's female lead to raise some "vocal hell" and put on one hell of a live show.
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