Jimmie Allen’s hometown formed the heart of his musical success

By Bill Newcott
Photograph by Dan Cook
From the July 2022 issue

july-2022-issue

“Daddy, don’t you worry,” country star Jimmie Allen sang at this year’s Grammy Awards show, “’Causeeverything’s good … down home.”

For his millions of ardent fans, “Down Home” — the first single from his new album, “Tulip Drive” — is just the latest in a long string of hit songs from Allen; a procession of tunes that tap into the grand traditions of country music, from pickup trucks on dusty roads to grits bubbling on a rustic kitchen stovetop. 

But for those who remember Allen growing up in Milton, the song conjures up images of the youngster heading out on a boat with his dad to drop a line into the Lewes-and-Rehoboth Canal, or motoring out to Indian River Bay and the Atlantic beyond. 

 

 

Fun and fitness combine to make pickleball increasingly popular in coastal Delaware

By Chris Beakey
Photograph by Scott Nathan
From the July 2022 issue

july-2022-issue

Over the past several years, Ginny Rickards and her teenage grandson, Jason, have learned to surf together, spent long days on the Rehoboth boardwalk together, and shared too many wonderful family meals to count. But then, just when she thought life couldn’t get any better, they both discovered pickleball, one of the nation’s fastest growing sports and now her family’s favorite way to stay in shape.

“Jason started first, in May of last year,” she recalls. “I watched him play with my daughter, Katie, over at the courts at Redden Ridge near Rehoboth. I was somewhat reluctant to try it because 

I was never a real tennis player — I’d hit the ball around just to have something to do. But I was surprised at how different pickleball is — the ball is lightweight but moves fast, and once you start playing you realize how much better you get with practice.”

 

Foursome infuses rock and country into their beloved genre’s traditional sound

By Lynn R. Parks
Photograph by Scott Nathan
From the June 2022 issue

june-2022-issue

There’s not much bluegrass-y about rock legends Queen and Guns N’ Roses. But that hasn’t prevented the local group Homestead Bluegrass from adopting a couple of those bands’ songs as part of their repertoire. 

“We don’t play all traditional bluegrass,” says banjo player and singer Casey Kenton, who lives in the Rehoboth Beach area. “We are all acoustic, of course. But we play a wide variety of music, and I think that that’s what makes us unique.”

That includes Queen hit “Fat Bottomed Girls” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses, as well as the occasional song by Jerry Garcia and his classic group. “People in the audience don’t expect to hear us sing a Grateful Dead song in bluegrass style,” says upright bass player Dawn Thompson, an Oak Orchard resident and one of four members of the band. “And it’s kind of neat to see their reactions when we start out. They’re like, ‘That’s really cool.’”