By Anne O'Connor
TOWNSEND -- When the urge to sing country songs hit, it turned into a life joy.
Deb Mayer first stood in front of a mic on Townsend Common a few years ago at the urging of Country Dave Lamoureaux. She sang a Patsy Cline song, one she knew.
Then she started doing contests; The Texaco Country Showdown in Vermont and the Colgate Country Showdown on WKLB.
Sometimes she sang to tracks.
Other times, the contest provided a band to back her.
Along the way, something special happened. Mayer met up with a friend from college. The meet-up turned into more than a romantic interest.
Mayer and Ben Mitchell who lives in Vermont formed a new band: Debbie and the Downers. They joined forces with other Vermont musicians and perform retro country and blues along with originals.
The name they got from a "Saturday Night Live" script is ironic. "We're the most happiest people you've ever met," Mayer said.
The band played at Townsend Earth Day and venues in Vermont. Mayer and Mitchell started to write songs.
"We like to do outdoor venues, fairs," Mayer said.
Gigs come mostly from word-of-mouth, she said. "Facebook has actually worked very well for us."
On Oct. 2, Debbie and the Downers will play at the Topsfield Fair from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 207 Boston St., Topsfield, Mass.
Listen to Debbie and the Downers at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4opnYtHMK3Q&list=PLJLIZ9Ty_YEwr8fV4vkH-8DwRdWqBqStm&index=2 and
Follow Anne O'Connor on Twitter @a1oconnor.