The Pettis Take Surf City

By Morgan Turner | Jul 10, 2019
Photo by: Lexi Schnell

Surf City, NJ — The sounds of a father and daughter’s blended creative talents filled the air at Wally’s Restaurant in Surf City last Friday evening as their music accompanied patrons’ dinner or dessert.

For Neal Petti of Surf City, The Pettis is the next in a long line of musical endeavors. After recently making the move to Surf City, Petti joined forces with his daughter Michaelina, 17, to bring their unique sound to the Jersey Shore.

As “Music by Neal,” Petti is a music teacher adept in an array of instruments including guitar, bass, drums, and piano. He and Michaelina first found their sound in a “jam session jamboree” where students mastering different instruments are put into groups to produce music together. In addition to performing in the father-daughter duo, Petti is also a member of the Sherwood Brothers, an acoustic classic rock band, and Spectrum, which specializes primarily in classic rock.

Petti can also be found in another familial band, cheekily named “Everyone But Neal.” Petti’s family started the band a few years ago at a time when the musician was unable to participate, but he has since joined.

For those looking for a bit of family friendly fun, Ernie and Neal, Petti’s original kid-friendly band, is the way to go. Music has always been a self-described “family affair” for the Petti clan; in addition to performing with his daughter, Petti also composes original tunes with his wife.

The duo’s set list “covers a lot of ground” beginning in the ’60s up to present-day hits. Staples of their act include Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” and The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down.”

A songwriter herself, Michaelina’s original pieces might one day make the act as well. Although she is learning guitar, bass and piano, in The Pettis, Michaelina’s main role is lead singer.

“Be prepared to hear a great voice,” her dad said, “along with great musicianship and a wide array of songs.”

The Pettis will be performing at El Capitan in Ocean City over the course of the summer (7/12, 7/25, 8/9, 8/29). Neal Petti offers in-person and video chat music lessons. For more information visit “The Pettis” on Facebook or contact—M.T.


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