The day after Labor Day, the members of country/Americana band Delta Rae were in a Nashville studio celebrating and working on the last couple tracks for their third record, “The Light.”
Singer Elizabeth Hopkins said they were easing into the work. The first part of the day was for catching up. They don’t all live in the same town or even the same state anymore.
“So, it’s a lot of ‘How are you?’ and ‘How are your kids?’” she said. “It’s like getting together at Thanksgiving.”
And it is a Thanksgiving for Delta Rae, which comes to Rock City Cake Company Sept. 19.
In July, after releasing two major label records and an EP, the group announced they were going back to the independent music world.
“We left our label and had decided to be an officially self-managed band,” Hopkins said. “We wanted to finish our third record, so we announced a GoFundMe campaign to raise $30,000 to record ‘The Light.’”
Delta Rae also promised that if the campaign raised $60,000 the band would record its fourth album, a follow up to the third called “The Dark.”
Then they threw in some other things on a fan wish list if the campaign brought in more money — a Christmas record, an acoustic album and a southern Gothic musical, which they would write, cast and produce.
Hopkins said she felt pretty confident about the first $30,000.
“In my heart of hearts, I thought we probably would get enough to make ‘The Light’ and ‘The Dark,’” the singer said. “We haven’t put out a full album in four years and our fans really, really wanted a new, full-length album.”
They raised $450,000 in about a week.
“Never in our wildest dreams,” Hopkins said.
Now, Delta Rae has a lot of work to do — not that anyone is complaining. The GoFundMe campaign was a shot of encouragement and support the band needed.
It was a hard year for them, Hopkins said.
Delta Rae spent a lot of the last year on the road touring, but also visiting country radio stations and introducing themselves to the top 40 country market.
“We met some really kind people along the way,” Hopkins said.
But it was always an uphill battle.
“Only about ten percent of what plays on country radio has a female singing lead and we’re a band with two females singing the lead,” she said. “We’re glad we traversed that path, but it didn’t feel like people were ready for us.”
Getting around as an indie band isn’t for the squeamish. The hours on the road are long and Hopkins said they don’t have the major label comforts.
“There’s no bus,” she said. “Just a van and a trailer.”
The travel can be a grind, but Hopkins said she loves it.
“The Light” should be out March 20, she said, but fans will hear songs from the record — and maybe more — at the show Sept. 19.
It’s been a while since Delta Rae has been in West Virginia to play, but Hopkins said they were looking forward to getting back and playing at Rock City Company.
“I will totally get down with some cake,” she said. “My favorite is yellow cake with chocolate icing or maybe German chocolate.”