Every now and then a musical endeavor starts as a lark, but clicks so well, it takes on a life of its own — one that deserves to be nurtured. That’s what North of Nashville bandmates Jay Basiner and Andrew Martelle discovered when they began duetting in-between gigs with their regular band, a Maine outfit called This Way.
Pursuing their passion for honky-tonk and the Highwaymen, they quickly found themselves outdrawing their regular gigs — and having far more fun. They finally gave in to the muse and made it official. And now, they’re releasing their self-titled debut, an album that revels in the gospel of Willie, Waylon, Kris and Cash, as well as their musical brothers and sisters from across the vast Americana landscape. North of Nashville (released April 29, 2014), features 10 tracks filled with Martelle’s fiddle and mandolin and Basiner’s lead vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica and percussion, and of course, their lively harmonies. Their roots influences, natural chemistry and irresistible appeal are abundantly evident in songs such as “Eyes for Me,” “One Night of Pretending,” “The Working Man” and “The Lady and The Outlaw,” but every song courses with passion and heart.
In the past few years since North of Nashville became their primary project, they've hit the road, touring extensively and honing their sound while performing with Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown Band, Lake Street Dive, Phil Vassar, Gary Allan, Jerrod Niemann, Chris Stapleton, among many others. In 2013, the Portland Press Herald named them a 'Band to Watch' and they were nominated for a 2014 New England Music Award as 'Live Band of the Year'. In 2015 they were named 'Country Act of the Year' by the New England Music Awards.
In 2016 the band will be releasing their Kickstarter funded album Strike Up The Band (The Best of North of Nashville). It is a collection of what the band believe's is their finest work over the course of the last five years.