PHOTOS: Delta Rae Revival Finale at The Basement
The Basement Nashville was taken to church by Delta Rae, one last time in 2018.
After four months, 17 shows, and a total of 32 select opening acts (not including a bevy of notable special guests), the dynamic six-piece country band wrapped up its residency at the venue on S. 8th Ave.; one which drew fans from across the nation and marked exciting new beginnings within the Delta Rae camp heading into 2019 that include tour dates and multiple new releases, as announced to the capacity crowd by vocalist Brittany Holljes.
Prior to Delta Rae, fans were treated to a pair of standout opening acts, beginning with The Young Fables. The country duo, comprised of American Idol vet Laurel Wright and guitarist extraordinaire Wesley Lunsford, delivered a set full of rich harmonies and heartfelt storytelling topped off with a generous touch of soul. In addition to its original material, the duo showcased its versatility and paid respect to the classics with a rendition of the Patsy Cline standard, “Crazy,” and a version of Prince’s “Purple Rain” that allowed Lunsford to showcase his chops, nailing the song’s famous solo with breathtaking precision while adding his own unique flair.
Next, it was Kalie Shorr‘s turn to take the stage. The Portland, Maine native combines a sharp wit and engaging presence to draw the audience in, and blows them away with catchy slices of Americana powered by the singer’s impressive vocal range. These included “Candy,” a bubbly pop country gem with a fantastic hook, and “Who What Where When Why,” a tense anthem sung by a lover scorned about a cheater caught red-handed.
A particularly sweet moment was the yet-to-be-released “Big Houses,” a ballad dedicated to Shorr’s mother, who raised the singer as a single-parent.
Then, it was time for Delta Rae to take the stage, which they did once again in triumphant fashion with the pounding percussion and crisp harmonies of “Bottom of the River,” and continuing with the intense march of “Chasing Twisters,” featuring the soaring, soulful alto of Liz Hopkins. Hopkins also shined in tandem with bandmate Eric Holljes on the lonely, heartbreaking ballad, “No Peace in Quiet.”
In our review from two weeks ago, we paid close attention to the band’s new release, “Hands Dirty,” a statement single in support of women’s empowerment. It was perhaps even more powerful this time around, delivered by Brittany Holljes with a fiery conviction that gave the audience no choice but to hang on the singer’s every word. The song and its message seem to be gaining steam by the week within Delta Rae’s fanbase, as a majority of the crowd could be seen singing along in unison on Wednesday night.
For as huge a year as Delta Rae had in 2018, it’s clear that the Delta Rae Revival — and particular, Wednesday night’s finale — is pointing to even bigger and better things in 2019. Count us among the growing contingent of excited fans who will surely be watching closely to see where this train heads next.