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INTERVIEW: VH1 You Oughta Know Artist Delta Rae Bringing Audiences On An Emotional Roller Coaster

Nicole Barylski

Delta Rae is performing at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. (Courtesy Photo)

"I think they can expect to be moved, and expect to shake their butt a little bit," Liz Hopkins of the band Delta Rae told Hamptons.com about their upcoming performance at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPAC). "I think they can expect to sweat, expect to sing with us. I can see them going on an emotional roller coaster with us and to hear a lot of singing and a lot of percussion and stories. We're storytellers."

The harmony-laden Americana pop sextet features siblings Ian Holljes, Eric Holljes and Brittany Holljes, as well as Hopkins, Grant Emerson and Mike McKee.

Hopkins met the Holljes siblings after they moved to California. Growing up, she had performed in musicals with the two brothers, but it was joining the same audition based vocal group as Eric that really cemented the camaraderie. "From then we were The Three Musketeers," explained Hopkins. "I'm going to be 29 in a couple of days, so we have been singing harmony for a very long time, all because we were in the same vocal group in high school."

Eventually that friendship turned into Delta Rae. "When we started the band we were just a quartet with me, Eric, Brittany and Ian," noted Hopkins. "We did it like that for a year and a half."

The group decided they wanted to perform full on rock songs, meaning they needed to find a drummer. Coincidentally, Eric had met drummer Mike McKee at a frat party a few years early and had been holding onto his business card since the party. "When we needed a drummer, Mike was one of the first guys we called and it was an immediate good fit," Hopkins told us. The final piece to the puzzle was bass player, Grant Emerson, who was an acquaintance of their newest band member.

The band's powerhouse harmonizing really gained attention after being named a VH1 You Oughta Know Artist in 2012. "It was a huge honor because we all grew up watching VH1 in the mornings," said Hopkins. Delta Rae recently reunited with other You Oughta Know Artists including Lorde, Emeli Sande, Ed Sheeran, The Lumineers, and Matt Nathanson for a concert held at the Roseland Ballroom. "Seeing other artists in that program, that's when you realize, you are so lucky and we're following our dreams."

Their concert at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center marks the band's first Hamptons performance, and Hopkins is thrilled to make the trip out East. "I've loved the North Eastern, New England area so I'm excited to get out there."

You can see Delta Rae with opener Gabe Dixon on Saturday, June 14 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $25, $30, and $35.

WHBPAC is located at 76 Main Street in Westhampton Beach. For tickets call 631-288-1500 or visit www.whbpac.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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