Fred Gosbee | The Night the Whiskey Froze

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Spoken Word: Comedy Holiday: Spoken Word Moods: Mood: Christmas
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The Night the Whiskey Froze

by Fred Gosbee

wacky, wonderful stories and songs about winter
Genre: Spoken Word: Comedy
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Night Before Christmas - Downeast
7:32 $0.99
2. The Christmas Hornpipe
2:31 $0.99
3. The Shopping Shanty
3:18 $0.99
4. The Frozen Logger
3:11 $0.99
5. The Rapogenus Christmas Ball
8:04 $0.99
6. The Night the Whiskey Froze
3:20 $0.99
7. Snowbound
5:00 $0.99
8. Haul Away Snow
2:58 $0.99
9. Gloomy Winter's NO Awa' (feat. Julia Lane)
4:19 $0.99
10. Tae a Moose (feat. Julia Lane)
2:40 $0.99
11. Powder!
5:59 $0.99
12. Frost and Snow (feat. Julia Lane)
2:44 $0.99
13. The Seasons
0:39 $0.99
14. Yard Sale
4:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
It's the time for stacking wood, stocking up on supplies and bracing for the busy and sometimes crazy holiday season. Just when we are starting to get grumpy about winter, folk musician Fred Gosbee has come out with a sonic antidote to stress, "The Night the Whiskey Froze -Stories and Songs for a Winter's Night".

This collection of songs and stories will help you chuckle through the winter. His rendition of "The Night Before Christmas - Downeast" has become an annual tradition in the mid-coast region of Maine since it was
penned in 1992 and there have been innumerable requests for a recording of "that moose song". So here they are, along with 12 other wacky and wonderful winter tales including "The Shopping Shanty;" and "Haul Away Snow" both parodies of nautical work songs. From the deep woods there is "The Rapogenus Christmas Ball," a poem by Holman Day, and "The Frozen Logger," written in the 1950's by James Stevens. The title cut, "The Night the Whiskey Froze", was written by local musicians Nick Appolonio and Bob Stuart. Put another log on the fire and have a listen!

Gosbee, creator of The Ballad of Cappy John, recorded the album at his own studio, Harper's Wood, in Round Pond. A group of friends, dubbed the Chowder Chorus, lent their voices to sing along on the refrains. The cover art was created by Tad Lyford of Brunswick whose work has appeared on numerous educational publications for the Maine Maritime Museum and the Department of Conservation. Klarity Multimedia in Vassalboro was the manufacturer making this an all Maine-made product.

This CD package is unique as it doubles as a greeting card. There is space for a personal greeting and a fold-back flap for mailing. Buy the CD, open it and write your message, then reverse the flaps, seal the edges with tape, and mail it to your snow-bird friends in Florida! The 2004 USPS rate to send the package is 60¢.

Here is a link to the art which is on the inside of the card:



to write a review

Dale Robin

Along with the fun and absurdity comes some mighty fine playing. Seems that this
Fred Gosbee's "The Night the Whiskey Froze" is a collection of stories and songs of the winter season (not solely Christmas, so one can listen to it far into the deeper chill of winter). And what a collection it is; quirky, funny and different.

Gosbee is one half of the duo Castlebay, based in mid-coast Maine and known the world over for their thoughtful and true to the tradition renditions of traditional tunes of Celtic influence.

I recently spoke with Gosbee about what he and his wife and music partner Julia Lane have been up to in general, but the purpose of our conversation was for me to get the story behind "The Night the Whiskey Froze" and all the hilarity contained therein.

Years ago, when Castlebay performed in Kennebunkport during Prelude, Gosbee, in his very best Downeast accent, recited a version of "The Night Before Christmas" that had the audience in gales of laughter:

'Twas the night before Christmas

And all down the road

The Christmas lights lit up

The new fallen snow

The kids they was huddled round a video screen

Watching some special they'd already seen

Mother'd gone down the street for some LL Bean shoes

And I was upstairs just takin' a snooze

When all of a sudden I heard such a noise

Why it sounded like Buddy outside with the boys

I got up so fast, I hit my damned head

And said things I probably shouldn'ta said

I opened the wind and called down below

"Hey who's that that's out there and takin' on so?"

When Buddy & Joe all at once did appear

On a new Arctic Cat with a 6-pack o' beer.

It goes on to tell of their Christmas Eve escapades and I won't spoil the ending, but I will tell you that Buddy and the boys do encounter Santa along their way.

Castlebay has a number of popular Christmas recordings in their discography, filled with beautifully arranged Christmas music, familiar and new, featuring Lane's Celtic harp, Gosbee's guitar, whistle and concertina and more.

"People heard that Night Before Christmas, Downeast style' that I do, and they always asked if it were recorded anywhere," explained Gosbee in our recent conversation. It would be an impossible fit with their other, more somber and traditional Christmas material so it never did make it onto a CD.

Finally, Gosbee decided he needed a recording to give this piece a home, so he gathered up songs and stories of winter and of Christmas, with a healthy does of Maine humor, along with some tunes to set them off, and recorded the CD in 2004.

"There's a song on there called Shopping Shanty'," Gosbee mused,""¦it's a parody of a well-known sea shanty, Paddy Lay Back'"¦"

Santa come back, take up the slack

My Christmas list gets longer every year

Oh why's it have to start before Thanksgiving

It's enough to make me lose my Christmas cheer.

""¦and a song called Yard Sale' uses the melody of the old Christmas standard Wassail Wassail'".

Some of the songs are great fun to sing along with, especially on some very silly and singable choruses.

Trying to create the sound of revelers at a party, Gosbee needed more voices on those choruses for the recording, so he and Lane invited a bunch of people over for a big pot of chowder and plenty of beer. They recorded the songs live with this gathering of well-fed and mildly intoxicated singers. "Not the Tabernacle Choir," laughs Gosbee, "but we hope the fun comes through."

That it does.

There is the lament of some loggers who are dis-invited to a dance because of the spikes in their boots and the holes in their socks. There's "Haul Away Snow," another parody of a favorite sea shanty.

In keeping with an item tailor made for the holiday season, the packaging for the CD includes one of the panels that can fold out to become a built-in greeting card. And another flap transforms the packaging into a self-mailer so it can be sent right out to that music lover on our list.

Gosbee warns that one or two of the pieces have some material that is not suited for young listeners. "Not for the kids!" offers Lane, with a giggle.

Along with the fun and absurdity comes some mighty fine playing. Seems that this recording is just the ticket for relieving the stress that the holidays can bring with some good belly laughs and tales of winter in Maine.

"The Night the Whisky Froze" is available at Gosbee says they'll get it out to you "right quick" if you're looking for a gift to send to Aunt Maude in Iowa.

Dale Robin Lockman is a musician, journalist and mom, who doesn't believe in Santa, but hopes that at least some of you will soon find out what happens when Buddy and the boys have to hitch a ride with him. Can't tell you any more that that! She can be reached at

Gail Morgan

Lots of fun.
This CD was alot of fun to listen to. The stories and songs were funny, and very down east maine. I can't wait to share it with my friends.