In 1987, the Celtic quartet Castlebay released their first vinyl album. They worked as a foursome for about two years and then as a trio for another three years or so. During the last year, multi-instrumentalist Fred Gosbee and harpist Julia Lane worked as a duo. A lot of water has gone under the bridge for these talented singer-songwriter-interpreters including 27 recordings, concerts around the world and their desire to educate and entertain audiences with the music and lore of all things Celtic in nature.

Castlebay will perform Friday night at a Unitarian Universalist Church Coffeehouse in Brunswick Library’s Morrel Room. In a recent telephone interview from his home, Gosbee talked about that upcoming show.

Q: Will this be a seasonal show?

GOSBEE: Yes, it’s going to be more or less Solstice, so we’ll have some solstice lore and music and songs. One thing we’ve been getting into the last five or six years is accompanied spoken word — sometimes verse and sometimes story-telling — in the old bardic tradition: Julia lays down a soundtrack and then I’ll do a story or a poem with it. The poems are pretty straight forward because she knows what’s coming, but the stories are kind of interesting because it’s more of an outline than a script and stuff happens — or doesn’t happen. So, she has to keep her wits about her.

Q: Oh, a bit of improv going on there?

GOSBEE: Yeah, well she’s a master of that. We have, after all, been playing together for close to 25 years now and can usually, 99 percent of the time, psych out where the other one’s going. We went through a spell a few years ago where we would just say, “Let’s play something in the key of G” — because we have to set up the harp — and then we just start and see what happens. Sometimes it’s a dance tune and sometimes it was an air and we would just go with it. It takes a little bit of chutzpa to do that in front of a live audience, but we did it for a while.

Q: Do you write original material or are you concentrating on the traditional music?

GOSBEE: Yes, we had a whole run of 400-year anniversaries and I wrote a number of songs in the style for those. I wrote a song about the Popham Colony that sounds like it was from 1608 in the way that it’s structured and some of the language is a little archaic. So we still do some original music, yes.

Q: Could you talk about the venue? I’ve heard it’ll be at a library, but that it’s also got a coffeehouse connection.

GOSBEE: It’s the Side Door Coffeehouse out of the Unitarian Church in Brunswick, but they had a fire last summer and their facility is unusable, so they’ve been camping out at the library. The Morrel Room there is very nice; we’ve played in there before a few years ago.

Q: Will it be Julia on harp and you on guitar for the show?

GOSBEE: I’ll have a 12-string guitar … I’ve got a violin and I’ll probably be playing the viola, as well, and the Irish flute. Oh, and probably a tin whistle.

Q: What will the performance be like?

GOSBEE: We’ve been getting into some of the early Celtic customs and lore and we do the Winter Solstice because a lot of people are aware of (it) and it’s important to people in the Northern Hemisphere, so we’ll do some of that lore and probably some poetry and maybe an accompanied story — and, of course a lot of songs.

Lucky Clark has spent over four decades writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.