Hailing from northwest Portland, where lonesome winds howl and the Presumpscot River wanders through the hills, Doug Hubley and Gretchen Schaefer support their singing with guitar and mandolin. Their inspirations include Merle Haggard, Webb Pierce, Lefty Frizzell, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris and some of country’s premiere brother acts — the Stanley Brothers, the Everly Brothers and the Louvin Brothers.

The pair, who first made music together in the 1990s as members of the Cowlix and the Boarders, combine wry humor with reverence for musical tradition as they cover about four decades’ worth of country music and a growing list of Hubley originals such as “I Never Drink Alone,” as well as “Bittersweet” and “The Ceiling,” both downloadable at www.reverbnation.com/dayfornight.

“I like being part of the history of country music,” said Schaefer, whose first exposure to the style was hearing her father play Hank Williams songs on a Gibson archtop. “It’s a long history that, really, goes back centuries, back to England. Whether the songs we’re doing are older or newer, it’s satisfying to be part of that lineage.”

“I guess we’re part of the Americana scene, but we occupy a middle ground that’s not heavily populated these days,” said Hubley. “We nod, sort of, to a lot of country traditions — like Appalachian music via the Stanley Brothers, or honky tonk via Webb Pierce and Buck Owens. But we’re products of the New England suburbs, and we approach those sounds and themes from that perspective. It’s cathartic, but there’s still that New England reserve and irony. Most important, we don’t sing about what we haven’t lived.”

For more information, call 207-846-1009 or visit www.theroyalbean.com/.


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