The outlaw country duo, North of Nashville, is made up of Jay Basiner and Andrew Martelle and they will be coming to Mainely Brews, 1 Post Office Square in Waterville,on Saturday, Jan. 25. To that end, a phone interview was arranged with Martelle to learn a little more about the band, their history, and what’s coming up for them in the future.

Q: That was a 615 area code — where am I calling?

Martelle: Oh, it’s a Nashville number, but I’m in Portland. I lived in Nashville for almost 10 years so this is like my last little bit of Tennessee — minus the band name: that’s something I can’t give up! But, yeah, we’re based out of Portland. I’m from Portland, actually, and Jay’s from Massachusetts — outside of Boston.

Q: Is it just the two of you in the live show?

Maretelle: Yup … Jay plays acoustic guitar and then plays bass drum and the tambourine at the same time — that’s our rhythm section — and then I play the fiddle, mostly, and the mandolin also; then Jay’s lead vocals and I do other vocals. Oh, and he plays harmonica, too.

Q: On Jan. 25, you guys are coming into Waterville, have you played there before?


Martelle: We have played Mainely Brews twice, I think, in the last year. Every time we do we get a pretty good contingent of North of Nashville fans up there. They always come out and are very supportive. We’ve had some great shows up there, that’s for sure.

Q: When did the two of you get together?

Martelle: Well, I moved back from Nashville about three-and-a-half years ago … Jay and I had known each other for a couple of years before that. Jay was playing in a band called This Way, based out of Portland, as well as doing a lot of solo gigs. When I moved up I was looking to play so I joined This Way and I started playing with Jay at his solo gigs, so they turned into duo gigs. Then a bar owner said, “You guys should really name your group.” So we named it and have been doing North of Nashville ever since … but we never had to release an album because This Way was always the main focus. Then a little over a year ago This Way decided to break up — as that was happening, North of Nashville was gaining a whole bunch of momentum and steam so we decided to continue as a duo and have not looked back since. This last full year we’ve been doing North of Nashville full-time and it has been just a wild ride! We’ve been concentrating on our live show, too, and that’s paid off. We were just nominated for Best Live Band by the New England Music Awards, so that’s pretty cool.

Q: You’re right! Now when we were setting up this interview you mentioned that in November you two took some time in Windham to work on your very first studio album. Before that you’d only released a concert album “Live at the Rack,” which came out in February of 2013.

Martelle: That’s right, and the new album actually is going to be a great opportunity for people to see that we’re not just a bar band, we’ve got a lot of substance to our music. Jay writes most of the music and then we’ll arrange it together … so this album that we’re going to be releasing here in the next few months really combines all our biggest influences — people like Waylon Jennings and George Strait, but also groups like Shovels & Rope and Bruce Springsteen. It’s mixed and what you get is outlaw country that’s created by two guys who are playing their hearts out every night … or trying to, at least. There’s no doubt about it: we’re a country band — time and time again people come up to us after a show and say, “I don’t like country music, but I love you guys!”

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the folks reading this article?

Martelle: Oh, man … yeah — you never know what you’re going to get at a North of Nashville show, but you’re going to get good music, high energy outlaw country with a great show!”

Lucky Clark has spent four-and-a-half decades writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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