Andrea and Russell Perkins of Rubble Betty. Photo courtesy of Andrea Perkins

Wiscasset-based duo Rubble Betty doesn’t play live shows and doesn’t have a social media presence or even a website. So you’ll have to either purchase their albums – “4 Bars Deep” from 2020 and this year’s “Look Out” – or turn to a streaming service like Spotify to hear their moody, atmospheric spins on songs you likely know and smart originals.

Rubble Betty is married couple Andrea and Russell Perkins. Andrea sings, and Russell plays guitar, drums, bass and piano and occasionally sings.

They met in high school, where Andrea was in chorus and Russell was studying music theory. Since Andrea and her best friend were the only two singers in the morning chorus, the instructor invited Russell to share the period to work on his theory stuff. Sparks apparently flew and are still flying.

Twenty years ago, the Perkinses set up a home studio and started recording music for the sheer fun of it.

“After we had accumulated a large amount of music that was just sitting on our computer, we decided it would be fun to publish it, and Rubble Betty was born,” Andrea Perkins said in an email.

The story behind the band name is that Russell thinks Andrea’s giggle sounds like Betty Rubble’s from “The Flintstones.” I’ve never met the Perkinses in person, but if I do, I will immediately do my best to make Andrea laugh.


Andrea said she grew up with oldies, show tunes and whatever her siblings were listening to. Her personal favorites back then were the Andrews Sisters, everyone from The Rat Pack, Neil Diamond and The Beatles. She named Frank Sinatra and Barbara Streisand as her biggest influences.

Russell got into acts like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and The Rolling Stones. The Beatles and Tom Waits top his list.

Both of them have been involved in music their entire lives.

Along with chorus, Andrea was in musicals in school and beyond and has done some wedding gigs. She took voice lessons for years.

Russell’s love for music was forged in childhood when his brother-in-law gifted him with a vintage youth-sized Silverton guitar that came from a yard sale. After high school, he studied music and guitar at the University of Maine at Augusta, then attended a recording school in Ohio. Russell also has played in a bunch of bands through the years. “Now he prefers to sit behind the mixing desk,” said Andrea about her husband.


By the way, that guitar was passed down to Russell’s nephews, but he eventually reclaimed it out of his sister’s garage. Russell cherishes the instrument for its plucky tones and plays it on the Rubble Betty version of  The Beatles’ “Because” on the “Look Out” album.

For their original tunes, the Perkinses collaborate. “Sometimes he comes up with the melody, and I write the lyrics, but on others, he does both,” said Andrea, who also shared the fun fact that the couple’s youngest son wrote the words to “Jiggle” from “4 Bars Deep” when he about 7 years old.

“Don’t you worry you can beat them, all you have to do is stop the jiggles from jiggling,” Andrea sings against Russell’s scorching electric guitar.

The first Rubble Betty song I ever heard was the opening track of “4 Bars Deep,” which Andrea sent to me two years ago with the hopes I’d play some of the tracks on the local radio show I host, Music from 207 on WCLZ.

It’s a cover of the 1982 new wave hit “I Ran” by A Flock of Seagulls. The original is a classic banger that hasn’t lost its edge, at least not to this ’80s music lover. The Rubble Betty version is a radical departure, with Andrea’s smoky smooth vocals and Russell’s layers of drums, bass, guitar and some synth sounds. The song takes on an air of downright desperation, especially toward the end when Andrea’s vocals explode and then settle back down. I’ve played it at least a gazillion times on the show.

Remember the 1967 pop hit “Happy Together” by The Turtles? Rubble Betty starts it off on a scathing, slow burn note, then launches feet first into the fire during the chorus. It slows way back down again for the next verse before ratcheting back up.


The band put its mark on the unusual selection “He Needs Me.” It’s from the 1980 Robert Altman film “Popeye” starring Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall. Duvall’s Olive Oyl sings the tune as a sweet declaration of love for her sailor.

Andrea’s vocals complement Russell’s guitar licks, note for note, and the Rubble Betty version has a morose yet delightful vibe.

“Look Out” album cover. Image courtesy of Rubble Betty

Moving onto “Look Out,” released a couple of months ago, Rubble Betty stuck with a working formula to make another sensational album.

Using effects to give her vocals a kind of haunting echo sound, Andrea slays The Beatles’ “Come Together,” and Russell finishes the job with piercing guitar jabs and “I mean business!” drums.

I also love that Rubble Betty reinterprets a tune from songwriting genius Tom Waits. I can picture a smoky, swanky lounge with stiff drinks and plenty of lost souls riveted while Andrea belts out “Way Down in the Hole.”

“I Like Pie” is one of the album’s originals, and it’s a run romp of a tune. Andrea rattles off names of pies with the refrain of  “flour, salt, water, butter.” There really aren’t enough songs about pie, and the Rubble Betty one is fantastic.

You can get a physical copy of both CDs by emailing

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