Singer and songwriter Melissa Alesi has been a staple in the local music scene for the past few years and has recently taken over hosting an open-mic night at Casa Dileo restaurant in Rehoboth Beach.
“It’s been going really well,” said Alesi. “We just started a couple months ago, and last week I think we had maybe nine to 12 musicians sign up.”
Alesi said the restaurant has hosted open-mic nights on and off for years; however, they just recently began hosting them again.
“My friend Regina was up from Florida visiting, and she asked if she could start one. She was only here a few weeks before she had to go back, and I offered to take it over,” she explained.
Alesi said the open-mics, held every Wednesday night from 8 to 11 p.m., are different from others in the area.
“I feel like it’s a very warm, welcoming environment. It’s not restricted to solo/duo players, but it’s kind of more of a listening-type open-mic night. I think people feel more comfortable sharing their originals,” she said. “We have a lot of people that come out every single week. That’s been cool. It’s kind of like a little family almost.”
Alesi is a contemporary singer-songwriter who fuses folk, alternative and a bit of country into her music, and she has released two albums, “Alesi” and “House of Stones.” She said that open-mics offer a variety of music that everyone can enjoy.
“We have people who perform ’60s/’70s music and people who are 20 years old singing the newer country style. We have a steel drum player that comes out every week, so there’s a little something for everyone.”
Open-mic nights are how Alesi got her start in the local music scene, and she noted that is true of many other local musicians.
“There are a couple other guys there, a duo — they booked their first gig through this open-mic night. I think it gives people a chance to share their music and get out in front of people if you’re new to the whole music scene.”
Those who attend to listen and enjoy can take advantage of Casa Dileo’s pasta night and half-price bottles of wine special.
Alesi said those who wish to perform do not need to bring any equipment, other than their instrument. To sign up, they may contact her on Facebook or sign up that night.
“It think it’s a really important part of the local music scene, as far as getting started and meeting new people,” she said of open-mic nights. “You get to meet a lot of local musicians, which isn’t something you really get to do. You get to sit in and enjoy other people’s music. That has been really cool to experience.”
Casa Dileo is located at 721 Rehoboth Avenue in Rehoboth Beach. For more information about Alesi and the Casa Dileo open-mic night visit www.melissaalesi.com or message her at www.facebook.com/mmalesi.