For more than a dozen years, the band Rural Electric has been producing a distinctive blend of rock, pop and the singer/songwriter vibe, performing a few times a year in their Belfast-area community. Those performances were particularly sparse last year because the band was recording its third album. Saturday night, Jan. 14, they will present the results during a CD release party at the downtown Åarhus Gallery.

The new album, “Fess Point,” is a handsome affair, sporting a colorful Kenny Cole painting on the front cover and one by Freddy LaFage on the back. The LaFage work, which also graces the disc itself, hangs in the home of bandmember Alan Gibson, who writes and does lead vocals on most of the band’s tunes. That’s a scenario that’s changing, he said a week before the show.

“Andy’s writing a lot these days; our next album will be about 50/50,” Gibson said.

Gibson, who plays piano and guitar; and Andrew Carpenter, who plays guitar and bass, get together regularly to work on songs. The full band, which now features drummer Mike Bahner and violinist Amy Arnett, tries for a once-a-week rehearsal, although with everyone busy with day jobs, that doesn’t always transpire.

“It’s kind of a hobby. Amy’s a professor at Unity College. Mike is a full-time farmer, Andrew’s a soil scientist and I’m a building contractor,” Gibson said.

Rural Electric has been an indie band almost as long as the genre has existed. Of course, these days, that label is more ubiquitous — it’s a rare artist who waits to be signed by a record company before recording an album. “Fess Point” was recorded and engineered by Rushmore DeNooyer of local Southpaw Studios; DeNooyer will join the band for a few tunes.

“Rush is awesome. He’s got a great studio and is a great guy, but he’s also really busy,” said Gibson when asked if the next CD will be recorded in Searsmont, as well.

“Fess Point” opens with a twangy prayer for an impossibly promise-filled night out and ends with an REM-ish warning against driving drunk on the West Waldo Road. In between are bittersweet appraisals of family history; musings about love and life; and reflections of living in this particular time and place:

“When the winds of love hit you, it feels cold and raw;

just remember, every spring comes a thaw.”

Sharing this time and place and the opening set of the CD release party will be Alex McGregor, a Colombian-born singer/songwriter who recently returned to live in Belfast after a stint in Portland. McGregor, who anchors the critically acclaimed Ponies in the Surf with his sister Camille, performed at last year’s Free Range Music Festival.

“I think he’s a brilliant songwriter. There’s a chance his sister will be up, but if it’s just him, it will be great,” said Gibson.

Aside from the CD release party, which the band hopes will attract both fans and newcomers, Gibson said the new CD will be made available on iTunes and CD Baby and for digital downloads. The band will send “Fess Point” to websites for reviews and try to find a few brick-and-mortar outlets, as well.

“I think there are one or two record stores left in Maine, but I can’t think of what would be the closest one. That’s the way the industry is going,” he said.

However music gets distributed, Rural Electric will keep on keeping on. Gibson said the band has close to enough songs for another album, so that will be in the works. So far, the musicians remain devoted to their “hobby.”

“We’ll play when the occasion arises — with a farmer in the band, it gets interesting! But we plan to go on, writing and recording new music,” he said.

In the meantime, Rural Electric hopes to fill the gallery. The music will begin 7 p.m. at Åarhus Gallery, 50 Main St. A suggested $8 donation is requested to benefit the venue and the musicians.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to