UN-sexy. UN-cool. UN-common.
The leader of quirky '80s Philly new-wave band Reesa and The Rooters drives her punky pop band through a three-song CD, "Melt the Iceman."
"If I were still hosting "Street Beat" on WMMR, Reesa's CD would be on the air! The songwriting is solid, the musicianship is polished and Reesa's voice is killer! I especially like her treatment of Alan Mann's "You Can't Talk to Her." Give the CD a listen - you won't be disappointed."
— Cyndy Drue, WMGK Radio Personality, Philadelphia
Although she's been compared to Blondie and the B-52s, Reesa Marchetti says her sound is "punky rock for aging new-wavers."
Previously known for jumping on- and off-stage during her outrageous antics, Reesa now performs seated in a power chair. She was diagnosed with MS 10 years ago, but she keeps her shows energetic with abilities gained from wheelchair dance lessons.
Reesa and The Rooters will appear July 11 at the Tritone on South Street in Philadelphia.
Reesa's original tune, "Melt the Iceman," starts the CD with a slamming rock beat, '70s flashback guitar, lush harmonies and eccentric lyrics.
Her fun pop organ and Randy "Dance" Bucksner's sax ride a Bo Diddleyesque beat on the second cut, "Old Boy Friend." The lyrics detail a surprising story of a middle-aged woman's memories haunting her life.
The third track on the CD, "You Can't Talk to Her," was written not by Reesa but by another Philadelphia indie artist, Alan Mann. This prolific songwriter died tragically in 1987, just when his popularity was rising. Reesa's treatment of Alan's song takes it from his straight-ahead, new-wave ska to a sensuous, smart and bubbling dance rhythm. Guest artist Randy Dance, who recorded the original with The Alan Mann Band in 1979, blows kick-up-your-heels sax on Reesa's version.
RootersThe re-formed Rooters include Reesa's previous band-mate, drummer Len Brown; bass player Ron Chinappi; and guitarist Sean Naylor. John Melinchock, also a former band member, recorded the guitar on the CD.
Backup singers on the CD are Maureen Simmons (Reesa's Elk Township, N.J., neighbor) and Renata Lea Gordon (Reesa's niece).
Reesa was born in Philadelphia, where she received classical music training as a child. Her family moved to Cherry Hill, N.J., when she was in grammar school. There she joined her high school folk music club and began playing in local coffeehouses.
In the 1980s, Reesa scored international underground punk-rock hits with two 7" vinyl singles: The Rooters' "TMI/Ultraman in Surf Villa" and "Casual Cat at a Laundromat" by her female rock trio, Suburban Wives Club. Both bands toured along the Eastern seaboard and were well known in the Philly club scene.
In the '90s, she released a techno-pop dance song, "Too Much Mousse," with Network 23 & Reesa.
After Network 23 disbanded, Reesa became a full-time journalist and then a Web designer. While running her own website development and hosting company, she created Relivethe80s.com, a site that documents the '80s Philly original music scene.
"Melt the Iceman" marks Reesa and The Rooters' return to the indie pop scene. So let's hitch up our adult diapers and rock out :-)