Along with Rehoboth’s vibrant restaurant scene comes its reputation for live entertainment.
Some of these folks you know from their club dates in Philly, but others are Delaware shore grown.
On the legendary list is Pamala Stanley, at the Blue Moon with her Monday-night cabarets. (Monday? A reason to stay an extra night or two!) She’s a world-renowned disco diva in the beach town, performing from her hit albums “This is Hot” and “Coming Out of Hiding.” She holds forth at the piano with bold banter, singing pop and Broadway, but gets on her feet for the retro-disco tunes. She’s the real deal and calls Rehoboth home.
Equally legendary is Viki Dee, an entertainer who practically invented live music for women’s happy hours — whether it was her famed nights at the late Cloud 9 Restaurant or, these days, at venues like Aqua, The Swell, Murph’s and the Rehoboth Jazz Festival.
Dee has been in the biz for more than 25 years and in Rehoboth since the late 1990s, providing music for happy hours, holiday-weekend dances and private parties.
“When I started a Rehoboth Ladies Happy Hour back in 2005, I was amazed by the camaraderie, the friendships established and the growth of the event,” she said. “Living and performing here have brought me a whole other family. I never leave a gig without thanking those who attend and reassuring them that I can’t do it without them.” (Google Vikideemusic.net and dance to the music!_
John Francis Flynn has been the piano man since 2000, known for entertaining on his own at Rehoboth venues like Murph’s, Shorebreak Lodge and Blue Moon. These days he’s a commuter, working in Philly and at the beach.
The Philly native has been at the keyboard since he was a kid and said he always knew exactly what he wanted to do for a living. Whether on his own or collaborating with Holly Lane at Café Azafran on Thursday nights, this music man has fans all over the coast.
And speaking of Lane, she sings while bartending, a delightful feat to show off both her mixology and experience as an authentic French chanteuse; she sang in Parisian clubs for 15 years. She’s been in Rehoboth since the late ’90s, singing at the former Sydney’s Jazz Restaurant and for a decade with the group Shore Jazz. Few can have their way with La Vie En Rose better than Lane — all while shaking a Cosmo.
Matt Kenworthy, who can make a keyboard rock like nobody’s business, tickles the ivories around town. He’s a Carnegie Mellon grad, hails from New Jersey and first came to Rehoboth about 14 years ago to play at the restaurant Partners, which is now Rigby’s. Find him there for some fun. And he’s at the piano bar (seriously, the piano is the bar) at La Fable on weekends.
“My job at Fable reminds me of when I was playing at Marie’s Crisis, a staple piano bar in NYC,” said Kenworhy. “The talent present in this town rivals that of any major city. It’s wonderful to deliver that kind of city-style entertainment in our perfect little town.”
If you’re in the mood to rock ’n’ roll, catch The Girlfriends, a rock band revived for the millennium. These girls have been rocking out at Paradise Grill a lot this summer, as well as entertaining at Murph’s, The Swell, Grey Hare Tavern, BJ’s on the Water and more.
Pioneers in the all-female rock genre, Philly musicians Kim Butler, Robin Rohr and Jill Brady performed the techno sound in the early to mid-’80s. They reunited here at the beach in 2011, with acoustic guitar, bass and drums.
Have you heard the name Bettenroo? This duo, Lori Jacobs and Anne Davey, is dynamic and versatile with super vocal strength. The blended harmony is complemented with guitar, bass and occasionally percussion. Bettenroo does popular covers from five decades, along with signature originals. Jacobs and Davey make beautiful music at venues such as Rehoboth’s Blue Coast, Coconuts in Ocean City, Lefty’s Alley, Eats in Lewes and the Rehoboth Ale House.
So come on down, the music’s fine — and all within walking distance of the beach.