Bitten by the Year of the Dog

Chinese New Year has a long history of being a bad day for me.

Let’s just say that this year was no different.

As I repair some of our equipment and wait for Amazon to replace various hardware, the launch of The Daily Frail will be delayed..

I will post updates soon.

Noli nothis permittere te terere
-Patrick

The Daily Frail Returns!

On Monday, February 19th The Daily Frail will be returning in its original podcast format.

Dear Old Dad and I were pioneers in web audio. When we launched our first web project back in 1997 people told us it would be impossible to teach music on the web. Then we posted our first workshop with Dear Old Dad teaching Boil ’em Cabbage Down and people went from saying it was impossible to saying it was impractical.

Those early web workshops lead to the accidental writing of The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo – and then things really got moving.

As web audio evolved we were able to do more and more. In 2004 we created Virtual Frailing Banjo, one of the first podcasts dedicated to teaching banjo. We intended to end the series after a few episodes, but people wanted more. I scaled things down and created a daily podcast. We didn’t know what to call it. As a joke I suggested calling the new series The Daily Frail and the name stuck.

Eventually YouTube came along. At first I wasn’t too interested with web video. We were using a dial-up connection and video was too hard to deal with. We moved up to DSL in ’06 and rode the streaming video wave ever since,

I still like web video. It’s easy to do (if you know your craft) and it is simple.

On Monday morning we will launch the first workshop of the new series. I am really looking forward to it.

Go practice your basics. I’ll see you on Monday!

Traveling Show

As a lot of you already know, I used to ditch school and walk comically long distances across suburban Philadelphia with a banjo or guitar (sometimes both) strapped across my back.

I was on one of these jaunts when I ran into one of my teachers from middle school. It turned out that we were both playing hooky, so we took a walk together and talked for a bit.

In that conversation he predicted that I would probably end up a writer or a performer. His advice was to go to Gibsonton and buy a stage trailer from retired carnies – or buy a bread truck and add a folding stage. However I set up my rig,he thought I should travel from place to place as my own traveling show.

I did not take his advice. I thought about it. I even went shopping for old panel trucks with Dear Old Dad, but in the end I decided that traveling was not my thing. Being on the road is brutal, and so expensive that you can never perform enough shows to make a living.

I thought of my old teacher this morning when I saw an advertisement for an old folding stage trailer from Gibsonton on boingboing.net

For sale ’94 southern body trailer mounted set and stage with living quarters $17,000

Only 2 hour set up time, with 2 people. No heavy lifting stage is lowered on an electric winch, marquee is raised on hydrolics. For sale $17,000 w/ ’07 Dodge 2500 to pull it $35,000. You can make it back in one season, we did in 2006.

Maybe one of you will take a rig like this on the highways of America sharing the joy of frailing banjo with people across this great nation.

Attention folk music teachers, authors or performers

Visit the Maryland Folk Musician’s Retreat site
http://www.marylandfolk.com/
Patrick and I believe that it is important to reach out to the people who support and present the music so we have set aside a few bunks in the Faith House for you.
No charge, no strings. All you have to do is tell me about yourself.

Call me at 410-968-3873
Peace to all,
Pat Costello (Dear Old Dad)

The Family That Frails Together

A couple of people have commented on the way my father and I interact on-camera.

Well, this is the way my father and I are all the time.

When I was a kid, before I took up music, my father and I loved each other, but we did not always get along. I would get into so much trouble in and out of school and it created a lot of tension.

Everybody loves the story that I only took up frailing banjo to win a bet with Dear Old Dad. They never take in the scope of how frustrated we were with each other. I learned a musical instrument to piss the man off.

Once we were making music together our relationship changed. We got to know each other and somewhere along the way we became close friends

The way we interact on camera is the way we are all the time. It drives mom nuts, but she loves us both.

See for yourself. Watch us jam and banter in our first instructional video filmed about eighteen years ago and then watch yesterday’s video. This is not an act. This is us. This is the kind of friendship that is possible with love, understanding and the language of music.

Don’t just watch us on video! Join us at the Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat! June 1-3 in beautiful Centreville, MD! Bring your family and learn to make beautiful music together.

Interlocutors

A lot of people watch, enjoy and – more importantly use the videos on our YouTube channel.

In the beginning we were only experimenting, so I named the channel after my first love, my Dobro 33H guitar.

https://www.youtube.com/user/Dobro33h

Our first video was an experiment. I wanted to see if could teach the subway shuffle the way the cool old dude taught it to me.

Dear Old Dad and I have been on YouTube for over ten years. As I write this our videos have 4,624,370 views. and our channel has 13,058 subscribers.

We know how hard and frustrating it can be trying to connect with an audience. Back in 1997 there were only a handful of banjo web pages. We were two guys playing our banjos out into the ether. In 2006 We did not know if or how people would find us on YouTube.

Today it is even more difficult to carve out a space for yourself. It can be tough letting people know you exist.

If you are having a hard time connecting with an audience Dear Old Dad and I would like to help.

Send us a short video introducing yourself to the Dobro33H audience. Tell us about your channel, band or project. We will upload the video to our channel and make it available to the great people visiting us on YouTube.

This is a one-time offer limited to one video uploaded at our discretion. If we do use your video we will only keep it up for a short time.

Send your video file to ask.patrick@gmail.com. If it’s too big to email send me a link via DropBox or similar service.