Who is Castlebay?
Since 1986 Castlebay has been weaving together Maine's nautical and British Isles legacies transporting their audience through time and across the Atlantic. Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee have loved and researched traditional music for most of their lives and blend history, legend and experience into their personable performances. Finely crafted ballads with evocative imagery and beautiful melodies depict Maine characters, history, and life close to the elemental beauty of the sea and shore. Their renditions of traditional and original songs are supported with Celtic harp, 12-string guitar, fiddle & woodwinds
Julia Lane, singer, songwriter, and folklorist, has been playing the Celtic harp since 1989. Self-taught, she rapidly became a skilled and exciting player, winning the Senior Professional division at the New Hampshire Scottish Games Harp Competition in 1990 and 1991 and the International Folk Harp Competition at Stonehill College in 1992. Julia has done extensive research in folksong archives throughout New England and is currently transcribing songs from the Flanders Collection at Middleburg College, Vermont. This audio archive has over 3000 songs, 900 collected in Maine.
Fred Gosbee, singer, songwriter, and storyteller, plays classic and 12-string guitar, violin, viola and Irish flute. He learned many traditional songs from his family, who worked as lumbermen in the forests of New Brunswick and Maine. His original songs have been sung and recorded by other artists.Fred has engineered most of Castlebay's recordings and has also built Julia’s harps and many other instruments.
Castlebay has toured the Eastern US and Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Kosovo performing at festivals, museums, schools and folk clubs. They have released over three dozen recordings which receive international airplay. Notable festival experience includes five International Festivals of the Sea in the UK, the Mystic Festival, the New Bedford Working Waterfront Festival, the Golden Link Festival, and the Somerset Folk Harp Festival.
Since 2003 they have annually toured the east coast in the late winter from thie home in coastal Maine to Florida, performing in libraries, concert series, folk clubs, retirement communities, and house concerts.
In 1994 they composed, arranged, and performed the Skye Suite, a multi-media concert piece inspired by their first trip to the Isle of Skye. This was performed several times in New England and Scotland. In 1999 they were commissioned by the Galloway & Dumfries Arts Association to compose instrumental music for Sang O’ the Solway, a two-hour concert piece celebrating southwestern Scotland. This was performed several times in Scotland in 2000, 2001 and in 2002 at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow.
In 2006 Julia wrote the book and score for The Grand Design, an historical play with music based on a 1740 shipwreck of Scot-Irish immigrants on Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy. This has been performed several times in Maine, New Brunswick, and South Carolina.
Most Unusual Gig
In 1996 they performed on live television for a cooking demonstration by Her Royal Majesty’s Commando Chef Team as they flame broiled plaice at the first International Festival of the Sea in Bristol, England. We still have their cookbook.