Working on the Mayan project with Lane Gosnay was a true labor of love. In fact, it wasn't 'labor' at all. What a joyful experience to help tell the story of something so passionate and huge; full of hope and truth and longing, with the underlying message of love and freedom. Giving music and a voice to Lane's beautiful story of love between a ship, her captain and her sea was one of the most rewarding things I've done, both artistically and as a friend. What an honor to help tell that story.

The coming-together of friends and fellow artists to make this happen was a gift in itself, and the very nature of the whole project. All the collaboration, love and artistry between friends have culminated into a gift that she simply wants to give to the owner of the vessel. Lane embodies the unconditional love that still exists in the music community. There are no strings attached-- with the one exception that you do what you love and share your gifts. She has graced us with the gift of a song and I hope it blesses those who hear it.
Elizabeth Wills

Mayan Dreams Sail On

Connie Strong

Every now and then, a labor of love turns into something magical. Such was the case when Bugle Boy Founder Lane Gosnay wrote I Am The Mayan as a tribute to David Crosby’s muse.

While working as a harbor patrol officer at the Santa Barbara Harbor (1995), Gosnay noticed the beauty of Crosby’s sailing vessel and, given her already-present love for music, the connection between the two was immediate. Crosby wrote some of his biggest hits on the Mayan while seeking respite from the ever-chaotic world of music.

Crosby purchased the 59-ft. Alden 356-B centerboard schooner in 1968. References to the Mayan are found in many songs; among them, “Wooden Ships,” “The Lee Shore” and “Through My Sails.” She graced the cover of the 1977 Crosby, Stills & Nash album, “CSN.” The boat became an inspiration for many musicians, including Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.
Crosby’s muse also “spoke” to Gosnay.

She decided to write a song about the ship and later, Blenda Shipp (could her last name be any more of a coincidence?) provided the first arrangement and vocals for a rough cut of the song. As with most treasures, the cassette tape harboring Gosnay’s emotional tribute was tucked away in a box and forgotten for nearly two decades.

In April of 2012, Gosnay discovered the Mayan was for sale. Remembering her days spent on the California coast, she was again confronted with the passion she felt for the beautiful, now-iconic, sailing vessel.

At the encouragement of Grammy-winner Ruthie Foster, she decided to “dust off” the cassette and revive the song–this time through the talented vocals and arrangement expertise of Elizabeth Wills. Ever-popular Woody Russell agreed to be on hand to add electric guitar and back-up vocals.

And award-winning music producer Mark Hallman (The Congress House Studio, Austin) would add the professional touches required to elevate Gosnay’s brainchild from something simple to something profound.

Hallman states, “Lane found a great team to realize this beautiful song; Elizabeth Wills and Woody Russell were the perfect dream catchers.”

One early fall morning, in the technical jungle of recording instrumentation—with only seven people to witness the magic—”I Am The Mayan” came alive during a tedious six-hour process.

A few months later, the EP was available and on its way to David Crosby as a gift—purely and simply a gift, with no strings attached—to the music legend.

Some things are meant to be casually observed and released; others, to be experienced at the level of the soul and kept nostalgically preserved as part of either our own personal history, or shared for a greater good.

In the case of “I Am The Mayan,” a little bit of both occurred. The love for an inanimate, wooden “object” became the catalyst for “The Mayan Project”—in Gosnay’s hopes that the song will help find “her” a new captain that will continue the music legacy that David Crosby began.

Gosnay, states, “I have been overwhelmingly compelled to get this song recorded and gifted to him. All the logical reasons to not do this had zero chance of stopping the process.”

The history of the Mayan is now part of our culture and it is Lane Gosnay’s most sincere hope that musicians will rise to the challenge of taking ownership in this iconic vessel.

“I am so grateful to Elizabeth, Woody and Mark. Not being a songwriter or recording artist myself, I was humbled to have these three individuals make an honest, concerted, heartfelt effort with this project,” says Gosnay.

“Together, we all worked to express the voice, personality and power of the Mayan in the most genuine of ways. Though neither Elizabeth, Woody or Mark have ever seen the Mayan, they, indeed, now know her. They’ve taken a most memorable journey with her.”

Gosnay uses words like “inexplicable” to capture what happened so many years ago in the harbor. Perhaps “Mayan channeled her voice through me” best describes what occurred.

The elusive how it happened is not really the issue at hand; the fact that it happened is the heartbeat that keeps the dream alive.

And alive, she is.

Sail on, Sweet Mayan

As a recording artist, I make music for a lot of different reasons; some simple, some complicated. It is always something to cherish when involved with a song/recording project that comes to life as a result of several creative hearts and minds coming together. "I Am The Mayan" is exactly that kind of project, spearheaded by Lane Gosnay, a champion of the independent music scene. Her dream for this song was to make certain it was given life through her lyric and Elizabeth's superb arrangement. "I Am The Mayan" conjures an inspired vision - a time honored tradition of songs retelling the stories of ships and the sea.

As a guitarist on the session I was able to help shape the atmosphere and detail this particular sonic portrait of the Mayan. Knowing a bit of her history leant even more emotional weight to the project as a whole. Being part of the "ships and the sea" songwriting tradition was also in the back of my mind. But most importantly was the fact that the Mayan, years ago, inspired Lane's lyric and that vision clearly resonates in her soul to this day. That fact alone provided the personal, emotive spark which inspired us all to be a part of honoring the Mayan in song. Woody Russell

After I Am The Mayan was recorded, it was shipped to
David Crosby in a special teak wood CD case with brass inlay.

Would you like your own copy?
Donate any amount to The Bugle Boy Foundation, add the word “Mayan” in the order section, and we will email you the mp3.

All proceeds from the download of 
I Am The Mayan
benefit the Bugle Boy Foundation.

David Crosby’s response after receiving the CD:

Date: November 28, 2012 6:27:54 PM CST

Lane ….thank you for the beautiful song …….wish me luck on finding a good home for her …..I have loved Mayan and sailed all over the world …..lived on her ….written many of my best songs on her…..I very much do not want to sell her …..I love her ……but she is in near perfect shape and I can’t afford to keep her that way …….neither can I bear to let her go downhill on my watch …..croz

In 2022, I Am The Mayan story is featured in Francesco Lucarelli’s
Crosby, Stills & Nash: “Music is Love”
book on page 251.