The Power of Words & Music
Celebrating the Irish Bardic tradition, this concert includes ancient poetry and legends accompanied by harp as well as songs based on old stories and lore with lyrics by modern poets. Mystery, romance and blarney combine with music for a delightful program which includes not only sprightly dance tunes and haunting ballads, but also the legends, lore and engaging rapport with which the duo has always delighted audiences.
The Bardic tradition has always been strong in Celtic societies and the power of words and music held in great esteem. Ancient poetry, stories and songs are filled with mythology and symbolism, wit and satire. During the nineteenth century there was a great resurgence of interest in these themes. Poets such as Thomas Moore, William Butler Yeats, Padraic Colum and John Montague have written romantic, mysterious works based on old stories and lore, many of which have been set to music. This program features those songs as well as ancient folk tales supported with the music of the Celtic harp.
The Celtic lands have provided rich inspiration for many musicians, and Gosbee and Lane are no exception. Both have had an avid interest in collecting and performing this music for most of their lives. In particular, Julia Lane's dedication has won her three awards for her playing of the Celtic harp. Their performances feature poignant ballads sung in Lane's ethereal soprano and Gosbee's rich baritone supported with harp and guitar. Interspersed with songs are stories and joyous dance tunes played on fiddle and tin whistle. The duo will share lore and history associated with the music as well as their own experiences travelling in Ireland.
How does it sound? Try the audio files or watch the concert video on this page.
For information about our touring schedule and fees please contact Castlebay.
Castlebay is eligible for grant funding from the New England States Touring Roster. Contact NEST for more information.
Quotes & Reviews
As you saw from the standing ovation this morning your program was well received. We must do this again. How far in advance do you schedule your Florida visits?
Thank you again,
Dear Fred and Julia,
I have had so much feedback from your performance last Monday. People from all over the area from the Margarees to Pleasant Bay (north of Cheticamp) have called, interrupted my grocery shopping, sent emails, etc., to say what a beautiful evening they had and would I please let them know when you were coming back.
I¹m sure it became clear to you just how much these people keep their culture alive and are so appreciative of the Celtic stories, music, just everything that you gave them in your performance. Even my 7-year-old granddaughter went home to her Mom, raving about the Irish flute and the beautiful handmade harp "made by Fred, Mom!"
Belle Cote, Nova Scotia
Your Performance at Crandall on April 7th was everything I hoped it would be - delightful, entertaining and inspiring. It seemed to me you invited us into a world of music and poetry that was very special. Thank you for sharing your time and talents with us.
Many people in the audience that night came up to me later to thank me for this program, but the thanks goes to you. Let us know when you are next playing in this area."
Crandall Public Library
Glens Falls, NY
Newsletter and concert summary
About the Newsletter...
Concerts in Brief
There is a public supper preceding the concert. Come have some casserole and beans, desserts, and music after. What could be finer?
The poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) collected and wrote new lyrics for hundreds of traditional Scottish folk tunes which he felt were falling into obscurity. Working in both the Scots language and in English he produced many masterpieces of 18th century poetry and song. Among these are My Love is Like a Red Red Rose, Comin' Through the Rye and Auld Lang Syne, popular even today at New Year's celebrations. His short but colorful life has become the subject of both legend and scholarly documentary.
The duo Castlebay (Julia Lane & Fred Gosbee) have studied the man,the myth, and the music. They have presented lecture/performances for concert series, elder hostels, libraries, and schools in New England, Maritime Canada, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, North and South Carolina and Florida. In their program romantic love songs are interspersed with lively dance tunes as well as poems and anecdotes about the Scotland's National Poet.
$18 Advance / $20 Door
Past Library Performances
Anderson County Library , Anderson, SC 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019
Avon Free Public Library , Avon, CT 2004, 2005, 2010
Bangor Public Library, Bangor, Maine 2021
Camden Public Library , Camden, Maine 2003, 2005
Citizens Library , Washington, PA 2007, 2008
Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library , Clifton Park, NY 2005, 2007
Collier County Public Library , Naples, FL 2008
Crandall Public Library , Glen Falls, NY 2005
Fairfax Community Library , Fairfax, VT 2004
Jacksonville Public Library , Jacksonville, FL 2021*
Jay Niles Memorial Library , Jay, Maine 2022, 2023
Kennebunk Free Library , Kennebunk, Maine 2004, 2022
Lake Placid Memorial Library , Lake Placid, FL 2019
Lewis Public Library , Corinna, Maine 2002
Lucy Robbins Wells Library , Newington, CT` 2000
Lynn Public Library , Lynn, MA 2009
Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library , Presque Isle, Maine 2012
Memorial Hall Library, Andover, MA 2009
Newport Public Library , Newport, Maine 2022
Northeast Harbor Library , Northeast Harbor, Maine 2003
Peabody Memorial Library , Jonesport, Maine 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2017
Pearl River Library , Pearl River, NY 2005, 2007, 2009
Plymouth Public Library , Plymouth, MA 2008, 2009, 2014, 2019, 2023
Ridgefield Library , Ridgefield, CT 2008, 2016, 2022
Rockport Public Library , Rockport, Maine 2017
Rowan Public Library , Salisbury, NC 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020*
Rumford Public Library , Rumford, Maine 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008
Sebring Public Library , Sebring, FL 2013
Simsbury Public Library ,Simsbury, CT 2004
Skidompha Library, Damariscotta, ME 2022
Smyth Library , Candia, NH 2016
Stewart Free Library, Corinna, Maine 2002, 2008
Topsham Public Library, Topsham, Maine 2023
Warner Library, Sleepy Hollow, NY 2004
Washington County Public Library, Chipley, FL 2014, 2016
Williamsburg Regional Library, Williamsburg, VA 2016
Wilton Library, Wilton, CT 2023
* postponed/canceled by Covid 19