There’s a country duo heading to the Somerset Abbey on Saturday, Sept. 8, made up of Michael Preston and Kim Curry. Curry has had her own bands for three decades and her lead vocals entertained Saturday night dance crowds throughout the state in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Preston was more of an entertainer doing stage shows singing, yodeling, telling stories and performing around the country. The combining of their separate talents led to the creation of the duo known as Preston & Curry. Having played in clubs, bars and taverns, Preston wanted to take the duo to the next level where his expertise would be utilized and hence a performance at the Somerset Abbey was arranged.

When I learned about the show, I called the two seasoned artists at their home in Poland to learn more about the group and their upcoming performance in Madison.

Preston: Personally, I thought we were ready to take it to an audience of a sit-down nature where people could enjoy the harmony and the quality of the vocals. The male and female vocals have a nice blend, which I think gets missed in the barrooms, the cellphones and the TVs above the bar. There’s a quality we have that doesn’t get heard and Somerset Abbey is the perfect place for that.

Curry: I’ve always worked for the dance crowds, so for me to do a show I get really kind of nervous about it, but Mike handles it so well that I just fall into it and I find that I’m really enjoying something that’s new for me.

Q: How long have the two of you been working together?

Curry: Oh, probably about three years, I’d say. We started out with a band for two years and then started this duo last June, and it’s been a year with the duo.

Q: Are you still doing band work?

Curry: No, we’re not. That eventually dissolved. Our drummer decided to retire and Mike and I thought about putting another drummer in and starting again (but) just figured that it wasn’t feasible because you have to travel to practice. We just figured that with a duo we could just do it the two of us and it’s been working out very well.

Q: As to the instruments being played, who does what? Michael, are you on guitar, perchance?

Preston: Yeah, I play acoustic guitar, covering all the rhythm and lead parts, and Kim plays the bass. Between the two of us, we handle all the lead vocals and the harmony vocals.

Q: Now, Kim, is that an upright bass?

Curry: No, just a standard bass not the upright, I don’t think I could play one.

Preston: Kim plays the Fender Precision bass, and I love it. It makes for a really nice dynamic because you don’t see a lot of girls playing bass, especially playing bass very well and doing the lead vocals. A lot of time when there’s a girl in any band they’re usually a front or lead singer, they’re not playing instruments of any type so it’s really something to see.

Q: As far as material goes, when you write your own cover songs, what happens?

Preston: Well, we’re not an original act at all of any type, we’re what they call a working act… the material we do is cover tunes. We cover a broad range of songs: Anything that’s popular from contemporary country to classic country to classic rock, blues and — because we’re in Maine — we do a lot of songs of local music that I call “home-grown tomatoes”: songs from artists that had a great deal of success on the local level in Maine and New England.

Q: For example?

Preston: We do a yodeling routine together. I had grown up in Maine and learned to yodel from some of the local talents around here about 20 to 25 years ago, so yodeling has been included in the program as kind of a showpiece. We feature songs about Maine that were written by people from Maine.

Q: Like Jud Strunk’s “Daisy A Day”?

Preston: Exactly! And they’ll probably hear that on the program at Somerset Abbey that day and also material from Dick Curless or Yodelin’ Slim Clark.

Curry: One thing I’d like to throw in is that Mike has written original material and I had a song back in the 70s that I wrote as an original song, too, and recorded. Two years ago Mike and I went to Nashville and I recorded the same song down there, it’s redone with today’s flavor instead of the 70s flavor it had when I first wrote it. So both of us have original material but we just don’t perform that out. We don’t have any call for it, really, but we both have original material that we’ve both done. I just wanted you to know that.

Q: Thanks, that’s good to know. Now have you two ever performed at the Somerset Abbey before?

Preston: This is our debut performance.

Q: I love those.

Preston: So do I, and we’re really thrilled that we’ve been selected to do this. I want to say that this is not just a debut at Somerset Abbey, it’s a debut of Kim and I performing in a stage show instead of just being background music.

Q: Kim, is there anything you’d like to get across to the folks reading this article?

Curry: Just that I’m looking forward to the Somerset Abbey show, I think it’s going to be a good show.

Q: Anything you want to add to that, Mike?

Preston: The time Kim and I came together to form the duo both her and I had been inactive on the local scene for many years. We may have made an appearance at a country music event once or twice a year, but for the most part, both of us were retired from playing and out of the public eye… now that we’re out performing again, both of us have enjoyed meeting people again that were there listening to us all those years ago. So that’s a special piece that we have as a duo going from individual artists for most of our careers to playing and bringing our talents together.

Lucky Clark, winner of a 2018 “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award, has spent 49 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.