Southern Goth meets American folk in the two bands that will wrap up the 2018 Riverbend Live! series.

Hailing from East Nashville, Tennessee, husband and wife duo Carolina Story will open the concert beginning at 7 p.m. Friday in Winston.

Emily Olson Roberts and Ben Roberts have never said no to any gig — a bar, a church, a theater, or a nursing home — Carolina Story has said yes to them all. For over a decade, the duo traversed the country building a fanbase. They have now graced the likes of the Grand Ole Opry with a sound Rolling Stone called “Sonny and Cher meets Whiskeytown.”

Ben Roberts picked up a guitar, joined a band and began writing music while in middle school. Emily Robert’s dream was to sing. The pair had been dating for three months when they wrote their first song together.

The band’s debut album with All Eyes Media was released on July 13, which includes new songs as well as re-released music from their two independent albums and two EPs. The album tells the story of their 10-year journey as musicians, a couple and parents.

The six-person band Delta Rae will headline the concert. Rolling Stone included the band in its April 2017 “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know,” comparing them to the likes of Little Big Town and Grace Potter.

Delta Rae was formed in 2009 by Liz Hopkins (lead vocals), the Holljes siblings Brittany Holljes (lead vocals), Eric Holljes (piano and guitar) and Ian (guitar), with drummer Mike McKee and bassist Grant Emerson. The Holljes brothers also contribute vocals and are accomplished songwriters.

The band does not fit in just one genre. While their label, Big Machine Label Group’s The Valory Music Co., said the band is best described as Southern Gothic, their influences include country, Americana, rock, soul and gospel.

They are also inspired by southern literature. In fact, their moniker was chosen from a mythical story the Holljes siblings’ mother wrote about a southern girl who summons the Greek gods to earth.

“Honestly, our committee was immediately impressed with the outstanding vocals (of Delta Rae),” said Riverbend Live! committee member Jeremy Mitchell. “It was a unanimous decision. I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys hit it big soon. They are a solid blend of rock and country.”

The sextet has headlined over 100 shows each year and are a regular on festival circuits since forming, including coveted performances at Bonnaroo, Tortuga Music Festival, Austin City Limits, Hangout Fest, VOODOO, Lollapalooza and the Country 2 Country Festival in London and Scotland.

Delta Rae has released two EPs. Their latest single, “No Peace in Quiet,” was released last year.

“This year has been one of our best attended. While I like to give credit to our outstanding music and great venue, the weather has been extremely cooperative as well,” Mitchell said. “This Friday looks no different. Come out and enjoy some free music in beautiful Winston!”

Attendees of the concert are welcome to leave blankets and chairs to reserve spaces beginning Friday morning. Vendors will be available for food purchase at all concerts. For more information on the series, visit

Erica Welch is a community reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at or 541-957-4218.

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Community Reporter

Erica Welch is the special sections editor for The News-Review, mother of two and a native of Roseburg. She is an alumni of Roseburg High School, UCC and Western Oregon University. Contact her at or 541-957-4218.

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