Elly Vaughan a.k.a. Yeoman Boatswain
A transplant from eastern Mass, Ellie now lives in the Pioneer Valley. Her origins in musicianship are as a guitarist and mandolin player. After finding a fiddle in the trash in suburbia, she fell in love with the instrument. She has a passion for Celtic music, though her fiddle playing is influenced by old-time American folk music as well. Ellie is known for her unique style of playing right-handed instruments in a left-handed fashion. She works as a farm manager, and one might say she likes it “rugged and raw”.
Josh Gajda a.k.a Frets McGee
A native of western Massachusetts, Josh grew up with a love of folk, celtic, and alternative music that eventually led him to Below the Gaff. Mainly a guitarist, he is a collector of “things with strings” and also plays dulcimer, bass, mandolin, and ukulele (to varying levels of skill). With a degree in graphic design and multimedia Josh serves as the band designer and occasional sound engineer. Josh has loads of fun playing music and wants to share that excitement with audiences.
Regina Diemand a.k.a. Ophelia Phalange
Regina (“Reggie”) hails from western Mass. Growing up on a farm, Regina discovered her love for singing while spending most of her time in the barn lulling baby animals to sleep. Along with years of voice lessons, she has been singing and performing since kindergarten in various choirs and vocal ensembles. Reggie was a short lived performing arts major in college before switching majors and taking on the world of promoting live events. She loves acting and has been in several musicals, live interactive events, and theater productions. She is very happy to share the musical stage with some of her favorite people, all whose unique personalities make Below the Gaff an amazing adventure!
Talya Goodman a.k.a Admiral Bowman
Raised by a musically eclectic family in Connecticut, Talya played several instruments from when she was young until she found the one instrument which truly spoke to her, the bass. She has played in everything from classical orchestras to rock bands. Although currently working as an Educator at the Springfield Science Museum, Talya holds a Master of Arts degree in English and likes to think of herself as a writer. Armed with her favorite bass, Old Stinky, Talya wants to make sure the audience not only hears the music but feels it too.
Whitt Smith a.k.a The CaptainHailing from western Massachusetts, Whitt played various instruments since she was 5 years old. Her love of the sea, pirates, Celtic music and performing helped influence her to start Below the Gaff. She is a full time luthier, repairing and building stringed instruments.
Photos by Jacki Jacobs 2015