Delta Rae

A Long And Happy Life EP

(Big Machine)

A country act comprising six men and two women, produced by veteran helmsman Dan Huff – so likely of quality and interest, given his track record and history. The main chunk of writing appears to fall to Eric Holljes and Ian Holljes, presumably brothers. They look a pretty happy bunch going by the cover images, a bit like an expanded Little Big Town. Time to press ‘Play’ and…

A Long And Happy Life starts with a snappy snare, strumming guitars and a crystal clear female vocal, telling a family tale and a strong, catchy chorus not far away. Strident and solid is how this sounds and yes in the vein of LBT and Lady A. With six of them the vibe is very rich, with some neat slide guitar somewhere there in the mix. A mix which seems to be radio-friendly.

I Moved South features – from the sound – the other female singer trading lines with the first one. It works well and the lyric involves staying connected with rock’n’roll and country music. The arrangement is heady, melodic and maybe just a little too dense? But it’s a catchy song, it must be said. Melancholy strings are added to the acoustic-led stark ballad No Peace In Quiet, great vocal harmonies. A tad Suzanne Vega goes country, perhaps? This has writing input from Tiffany Goss and Adam Wood. The arrangement is kept lighter here, suiting the composition. Huff plays on this.

Last cut of the four is Ain’t Love which is set to pattering drums and damped guitars. Female lead vocal on this story of friction. ‘Ain’t Love Til It Hurts Like This’ goes the lyric and the tension maintained.

Very listenable, empathy in the production, strong playing, forceful but not histrionic’s all here. On this showing the act have yet to fully develop their own distinctive sound, but the fuel’s in the tank for that journey.

Pete Sargeant


Live Photos Credit: John Bull/Rockrpix

Delta Rae's 'A Long And Happy Life' EP is out now on Big Machine.

For more information visit the band's official website here: