Best Bands in the Land

The experts offer their takes on which music makers are packing ‘em in at area clubs and bars

 

Who’s worthy seeing?”

That’s the question we asked area club owners, managers, event planners and radio personalities. Which band has a new album coming out? Who is packing the clubs? Who’s winning awards?

Want to know what the experts say? Keep reading…

Big Fat Meanies | Lauren & The Homewreckers
“We’re quite fond of a band out of Lancaster called Big Fat Meanies. They were one of hundreds of Ladybug submissions this year, and the only one to immediately go into heavy rotation on the office playlist. I’ve never really heard anything quite like them.

“The other I’d like to suggest is Lauren & The Homewreckers. It’s Lauren Kuhne’s brand new band, who will be debuting at our eight-year anniversary show. I know she works for us, but we’ve been working with her as an artist since 2012, and we’re really excited about her band.”
— Jeremy Hebbel, co-owner, Gable Music Ventures

HaHa Charade | Two Bananas
“We had the pleasure of having both of these bands together for one of our ‘Live Music For Early-Birds’ shows and they absolutely killed it. Not only was it our biggest crowd for one of those shows, from start to finish the music was amazing.”
— Joseph J. Mujica, general manager, Kelly’s Logan House

Terretta Storm | Matt Sevier
“Terretta Storm is a great vocalist, a dynamic frontwoman and a talented songwriter who has put together a fantastic band. I’m looking forward to hearing her upcoming collaboration with Jea Street Jr.

“After some time away from the music scene, Matt Sevier released his long-awaited second album, Visitations. He deservedly won songwriting and best album Homey Awards.”
— Mark Rogers, host, WSTW’s Hometown Heroes

Lefty The Greatest | Hepner’s Rebellion
“J’Nay (Lefty) is very positive, and new on the scene with hip hop. We really love her and see more opportunities for her (wink, wink….).

“Hepner’s Rebellion is awesome original music and energy. They’re not exactly new , but have new focus and energy.”
— Gayle Dillman, co-owner, Gable Music Ventures

What The Funk | Stone Shakers
“What The Funk are talented and fun, and their song selection and horn selection is as good as the band Chicago! No lie, they will have you on the dance floor and singing along with them!

“Then there are the Stone Shakers. The young lady out front, Samantha Desper Poole, has a voice of an angel and as good as any female singer I’ve seen, and I don’t just mean in Delaware. Plus, Sam is surrounded by some of the best seasoned musicians Delaware has ever produced.

“I am the owner, operator and the guy who books all the entertainment for Rockford Tavern. I’ve been in the bar business for 37 years and have been booking entertainment in Wilmington just as long. These bands are all a must see!”
— Paul Ogden, owner, Rockford Tavern

Lower Case Blues
“I’m always game to check out Lower Case Blues. Talented musicians who always impress and are fun, too. You won’t find a better blues/rock outfit anywhere on the East Coast. In fact, these guys can hold their own with anyone… Just ask Dave Grohl!”
— Steve Kramarck, station manager, WVUD

Marielle Kraft | Sam Capolongo
I caught the end of Marielle Kraft’s set at Grain on Main around six months ago and was really impressed. She recently released a new song, ‘Toothbrush. It’s undeniably catchy, and I find myself singing right along. She has been touring up and down the East Coast promoting it. I think she’s an outstanding talent and really has a bright future!”

“Sam Capolongo plays here at Oyster House once a month. He does a great job of using pedals and loops to create a great, unique sound. He’s one of my favorite acts that we’ve had here. He’s all over Dewey in the summer and is definitely worth checking out!”
— David Hayes, manager, Trolley Square Oyster House

Mo Lowda and the Humble | Beano French
“I’d suggest seeing Mo Lowda and the Humble as well as Beano French (both Philly-area based) whenever you have a chance. They’re all super talented and well worth your time!”
— Christianna LaBuz, booking, The Queen

Mothman Properties
“Beyond having a cool name, they have great songs with thoughtful lyrics and killer hooks. They are a better live band each time I see them. They are Wilmington-based and all the members are well-established in the area music scene and ardent supporters of other local, original music.”
— Matt Morrissette, owner/operator, 1984

Nelly’s Echo
“The band I never miss is Nelly’s Echo. From Season 3 of The Voice, Nelly is an artist I’d put on ‘Team Grain’ every time. Nelly, the lead singer, has a way of making everyone in the room smile. With great vocals and fun lyrics that often include the names of people he just met in the bar, Nelly’s Echo will put anyone in an awesome mood.”
— Lee Mikles, owner, Grain

The Sin City Band. Photo Joe del Tufo

The Sin City Band | The Melton Brothers
“Sometimes what was true in 1979 or 1989, is still true in 2019.

“The Sin City Band celebrate 45 years as a band at The Kennett Flash on Saturday, May 11th (sold out) ,and Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12th (limited tickets remain), with very special guests, their son’s band, The Spinto Band (another Delaware rock & roll legend). 

“From Americana to Country to straight up traditional rock ‘n’ roll, The Sin City Band are part of the fabric of the Delaware and Chester County music scene, and Delaware Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members.

“Also in the Delaware Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and founders of the Market Street Concert Series in the 1980s with their Fine Times Magazine—the precursor to Out & About—The Melton Brothers Band continues to bring New Orleans swamp rock, funk, and “Band” style jam to local stages such as The Kennett Flash, Bellefonte Cafe and Steel City Coffeehouse.  The Melton Brothers Band celebrates the 40th Anniversary of their Livin’ In The City album with two special performances at The Flash in June.”
— Andrew Miller, managing director, The Kennett Flash

Ringrust
“I’m looking forward to Ringrust, a new band that hasn’t played yet. I think their first show will be at Oddity Bar on July 5th. It’s a band created from members of the previous bands: Walleye, Kill Quota, Blackthroat, Onita, Easy Creatures and Worth. Every project they’ve played on before has been stellar, and I can only imagine this next band, Ringrust, will be amazing also! The band members include Chris Haug, Dave Mele, Shane Evans and Tim McConaghie.”
— Pat McCutcheon, co-owner/operator, Oddity Bar

Blayne Salerni, trumpet, and Andrew Bedell, saxophone, Universal Funk Order. Photo Joe del Tufo

Universal Funk Order
“I personally love Universal Funk Order. They put an amazing spin on all covers and pIay more instruments than just guitar and drums (can you say “Horns!”) They just really have a great energy and they really connect with the audience. When people see that they are coming here to play, we fill that upstairs space. They definitely bring a crowd.”
— Morgan DeMarco, banquet coordinator, Deer Park Tavern

So, what do you think? Please comment below.