From Rock’n’Roller to Web Whiz

Reesa and The Rooters, 1980

Today she’s a Web developer, editor and writer (see resume). But to many East Coast music fans, Reesa Marchetti is still best known as the lead singer of the ’80s punk-pop band Reesa and the Rooters and its offshoot, Suburban Wives Club (SWC).

A Philly-based singer-songwriter, Reesa scored international, underground hits with The Rooters’ “TMI” and SWC’s “Casual Cat at a Laundromat.” The 7″-vinyl singles can still be heard occasionally on the radio.

Reesa’s natural public relations skills kept her musical groups in the spotlight. Among SWC’s TV credits was a national feature segment on “Evening Magazine.” (See also Reesa and The Rooters in Baltimore.)

In the ’90s, Reesa’s music transformed into techno-pop. She released a solo 45, “Groove City,” and a dance song, “Too Much Mousse,” with the band Network 23.

“But after we paid the producers, and the sound and light crews, and the roadies, and the post office for delivering all those promo copies of the records,” Reesa said, “we just about broke even. So I’m not selling it anymore.”

Starting in 2004, Reesa began performing again as Reesa and The Rooters with previous and new band members. Now she plays occasional electronic solo gigs as Reesa B.

So where are the key band members today?

  • Rooters / SWC bass player Cherie Rumbol is an entrepreneur and bass player in several L.A.-area bands.
  • SWC drummer Ann Frances, a drum teacher and database manager, sadly passed away in 2011 after battling ovarian cancer.
  • Rooters guitarist Larry Laskey — Reesa’s brother and co-writer — distributes fine wines.

Techno-Pop to Techno Buff…

Schooled in both music and journalism, Reesa had published original articles throughout her musical career. She also drew, hand-lettered, cut and pasted her bands’ posters and press releases.

But when the energetic recording artist started using a PC, she soon left her manual typewriter behind. She moved easily from a musical keyboard to the computer keyboard.

Reesa discovered pre-Web computer bulletin board systems (BBSs) in 1992. As a participant in this text-only phase of the Internet, she acquired the handle “COol MOther” and emerged as an Internet trailblazer. In 1994, she wrote a freelance article about BBS users for the Gloucester County Times, a South Jersey daily.

That story led to a five-year stint, starting as a reporter, with the Times’ sister newspaper. Later as city editor, she coached and assigned writers, wrote, edited, and produced page layouts. In 1999, she won a first-place award for column-writing from the New Jersey Press Association.

Reesa pushed the newsroom to incorporate computers and the Internet into reporting. And her bond with local music continued as she created her first Web site, COol Mother’s Philly Music Page.

The prize-winning newspaper editor moved on to become editor and Web manager for The Association of Educational Publishers. Through 2002, Reesa produced and updated the organization’s Web site, and developed and co-wrote their online newsletter.

When musician and artist friends asked for help with their Web pages, Reesa established Sheer Web Design (originally called SpideRee Web Design) in 2001. The company quickly grew as Reesa advanced her website development skills and added many more clients to her portfolio. An early Sheer Web project, Relive the ’, celebrated the original music scene in 1980s Philadelphia. Recording artists nationwide contributed digital music memorabilia to the site.

Sheer Web Design has continued to expand, adding hosting and domain name registration to its services. Reesa uses her musical background, as well as her updated technology and creative skills, to develop effective websites for numerous business, e-commerce, personal and arts clients.

Reesa Marchett is a winner of the New Jersey Press Association Award and the Golden Web Award.