Patrick’s Creative Commons Banjo and Guitar Library

When we posted our first banjo workshops back in 1997 people were dumbfounded. Teaching for free?

We quickly began helping people drag banjos and guitars out of closets. Our large following led to new opportunities.

In 2003 I accidentally wrote The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo. That was wild. I was a writer. Dear Old Dad was a pretty good editor. We opened our own publishing company: Pik-Ware Publishing.

In 2004 I made The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo freely available under a Creative Commons license and suddenly it seemed like everybody wanted to play the banjo.

We still sell our books here at frailingbanjo.com/books but we also continue to make our work freely available so that the joy of homemade music remains accessible to everyone.

Books:


Essays:

Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat 2018

Stormy Weather, Sunshine Inside

It is going to be a rainy weekend for the Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat. This is not necessarily a bad thing because almost all of our scheduled workshops are indoors. The only downside is that the pool won’t be opening on Saturday as we scheduled.

Another problem with rainy weather is that it tends to aggravate my arthritis and trigger migraine headaches, So if I look like my head hurts, don’t ask me if my head hurts.

On the bright side, I will be adding a couple more workshops to the schedule to keep myself occupied – and my mind off of my aching bones. I am planning to do a workshop on how to teach – with emphasis on talking to the camera. I think that will be a lot of fun – and I have some other cool ideas percolating.

We will be arriving at Camp Pecometh tomorrow. Being in a moving car can give me seizures, so we arrive extra early so I can recuperate and be at my best to start welcoming guests as they arrive for the Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat.

This is going to be a wonderful weekend of music and fellowship. We will all come together to celebrate the common language of music and work together so that all of us can express ideas and emotions through our instruments.

If I get a headache, that is okay. I am making music with my friends, at a shindig I organized with my best friend.

See you soon!

God bless,
-Patrick

2018 Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat Workshop Schedule!

Dear old Dad has put the finishing touched on the workshop schedule for the 2018 Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat!

2018 Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat Schedule PDF

We are excited to have so many musicians coming together to share, jam and celebrate this wonderful thing we call music.

There is still time to register for the 2018 retreat! We’ll squeeze you in! Call (410) 968-3873 and talk to Dear Old Dad.

If you do miss the Retreat this year you may have a second chance to make music with us. Keep an eye on our web pages and social media for an upcoming announcement about The Fall Banjo Brawl!

Reboot

My little laptop is an inexpensive refurbished unit. The screen is entirely too small and the keyboard is cramped, but the damned thing works better than any computer I have had before it.

I don’t like Windows or Apple. I would rather use Linux on our office computers, but as much as I love open-source computing, I still need to use Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud.

Dear Old Dad flat-out refuses to go near a Linux computer the same way I won’t go near a wasp’s nest.

So I’m stuck with my little Windows laptop. It’s underpowered – but it’s what I have to work with. It has been running great, but I think it got turned off in the middle of an update because it started giving me trouble over a week ago. After trying everything reasonable to fix it I decided to just bomb the hard drive and reinstall everything fresh.

This must happen a lot because there is an option in the Windows 10 settings called, “A Fresh Start”.

I started getting Office downloaded and installed yesterday, and I just finished downloading the last bits of Adobe Creative Cloud and my other essential everyday programs.

My favorite program that I use every day?

Cold Turkey Writer Pro. It is worth every penny. A Godsend.

Hopefully I will be able to film, edit and upload a new episode of The Daily Frail tomorrow. I am still talking things kind of slow so that I am strong for the Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat, and I still have some medical tests coming up.

After the Retreat I am hoping to bring back Sing the Banjo and revive a couple more of our old projects.

Right now I am going to turn off my computer, go outside and check my garden. For the first time in ages I have planted vegetables and flowers in three garden spots around our yard. My pumpkin vines already have big leaves, and I have several Moon and Stars watermelon vines. Black Krim heirloom tomatoes are growing happily among herbs and flowers. catbird and toads are doing a bang-up job patrolling the rows for pests. The moss rose is covered with buds and new growth – which is amazing if you know the story behind this Victorian rose.

I’m going to go check on my watermelon and pumpkin vines. Maybe I’ll take my fiddle and play a song with the crickets.

Goodnight and God bless,
-Patrick

Workshops at the 2018 Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat

Dear Old Dad has posted the working draft of the workshop schedule for the 2018 Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat.

It is not complete, but it will give you an idea of the volume of activity and number of workshops at the Retreat.

Check it our on our Daily Frailers Facebook group or download it here.

2018 Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat Updates

If you plan on attending Patrick’s session on banjo with harmonica be sure to have a rack and a G harp with you. I will have some available for those who wish to purchase there.

Also, this year we have a chaplain. Rick MacArthur, a banjo picking retired pastor from Colorado has agreed to serve. He will conduct a non-denominational service on Sunday morning before breakfast at the fire ring just outside the center. All are welcome.

Joe and Rosa Hopkins will host a gospel sing/play along immediately after breakfast in the dining hall. Somebody say Amen!

Call me at 410-968-3873 for details.

Peace to all,
Pat Costello (Dear Old Dad)

Workshops at the 2018 Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat!

Here is a list of the workshops currently scheduled for The Maryland Folk Musicians Retreat.

Feel free to suggest a topic or volunteer to share something.
Times will be posted at the retreat.

Patrick:

  • Banjo and harp
  • Frailing the blues and slide
  • Frailing bluegrass
  • Banjo meditation
  • Playing and singing
  • Photography walk with Patrick

Dear Old Dad:

  • One on one sessions with folks who need a bit of help

Rich Carty:

  • Hammered dulcimer workshop/demonstration

Mary Carty:

  • Native American basket weaving ($10.00 for materials)
  • Lap dulcimer

Sarah Baxter:

  • Fiddle

Pete Glaze:

  • Songwriting and singing
  • Guitar tricks
  • The host of Saturday Open Mic

Jared Denhard:

  • Early (minstrel) Banjo
  • Mountain Dulcimer
  • Ukulele

Lowell Jacobs:

  • Banjo set up and building tips
  • The host of the Banjo Building Round Table Discussion

Joe and Rosa Hopkins:

  • Gospel singing
  • General joy!

Diana Wagner:

  • Jumping into a jam sessionThe host of
  • Friday Evening Hootenanny
  • Lots of folk music stuff

Guy and Karen Stinson:

  • Country oldies on guitar and banjo