Some say variety is the spice of life. That phrase certainly applies to the variety of music available along southern Delaware beaches. Do you like rock and roll, acoustic guitar players, chamber music, tribute bands of all sorts or a full-blown brass concert band? It’s all here and musicians pop-up in unexpected places, too.
One of the most popular bands in the area – The Funsters – perform annually before and after the Rehoboth Beach fireworks display at the Rehoboth Bandstand. This year, the date is July 3. Anyone nostalgic for jazz crooners, pop rock, classic rock, ’80s hits and every other genre imaginable will love this band for its versatility.
Are you a sucker for Herb Alpert or spaghetti Westerns? Hot sauce can fill the bill. This four-person group does more playing than singing but the trumpeter and lead guitar player paly music that is soothing and peppy at the same time. Their colorful sombreros add a little Latin flavor to their act.
Inductees of the Delaware Blues Hall of Fame, Lower Case Blues, also known as Jake Banaszak and B.J. Munz, specializes in Blues and Rock. They frequently perform at Big Chill Surf Cantina, Hammerhead’s Dockside and The Pond.
Bettenroo is another guitar and bass duo with an incredible variety of musical genres from Paul Simon and Indigo Girls ditties to Michael Jackson rock. Their lineup usually depends on whether they perform alone or with a drummer. Anne and Lori will be in VT performing for a few weeks but back in the Rehoboth area in August.
And individual restaurants and bars are not the only choices although Dewey venues would be at the top of that list simply due to the variety of choices in the small beach town.
The first two weekends in August. the Rehoboth Art League’s Summer Outdoor Show is the place to be for those who like to combine art and music. The artists top notch and show organizers pack plenty of music by local musicians into both weekends The schedule is a work in progress. Other festivals such as the Lewes Historical Society’s Sea Glass and Summer Crafts events with a rotation of musical performers. Most festivals charge a nominal $5 fee for entrance.
The Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach Bandstands hosts concerts all summer long as does Stango Park in Lewes. Rehoboth may have the most robust schedule. In addition to The Funsters, you can catch acts of all sorts such as the U.S. Navy Concert Band, “Soul Town to Motown” and tribute bands like Yellow Brick Road, an Elton John tribute. All are free.
Bigger acts, like Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow and Harry Connick, Jr, tend to gravitate to the Freeman Arts Pavilion in Selbyville, DE, just west of Ocean City, MD. Those who live in Delaware’s northern coastal towns can take the Jolly Trolley if they don’t want to drive or feel like imbibing while at the concert.
Hudson Fields’ (Revelation) Beer Garden hosts live music on weekends and seems to be popular on Friday evenings with road warriors driving down from points north for a vacation weekend or a visit to a second home. Periodically, Hudson Fields/Highway One hosts name artists like country western singer/songwriter Cody Johnson (coming in August). The venue is on Coastal Highway in Milton.
Come fall, the St. Cecilia Music Guild of St. Peter’s Church in Lewes will unveil a new season of entertainment including chamber music.
Make no mistake, the music scene in coastal Delaware is robust and thriving.
By Mary Jo Tarallo, Guest Journalist
Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry as a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Ophrah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland and Towson University, lived in Washington, DC for 21 years and has been a full time resident of Rehoboth Beach and Milton since May 2019.