Singing With The Banjo And Guitar

Back in 2006, I wrote a songbook titled Singing With The Banjo And Guitar. We were inches from going to print, but I kept holding off because of my misgivings over the effectiveness of using tab. I still have the old Word files stored away somewhere.

As I was waffling over publishing the book, Dear Old Dad convinced me to go ahead and record the tracks for an accompanying CD. After I decided to shelve the project, the audio files were more or less forgotten.

I found those audio files today…

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Basic Frailing Banjo DVD – Free & Demonetized

When we released our first DVD workshop, we had no idea that we were creating something that would reach countless people.

Our original upload of chapters one and two to YouTube in 2006 wound up reaching close to seven hundred thousand people. Each. That was cool, but the file was uploaded with a dial-up modem and streaming video quality back then was a pixelated pea soup Exorcist barf nightmare that implied more than displayed.

Yes. I did read all of your complaints over the years…

DVD’s are out of style, and during this COVID-19 epidemic, I think it is important to share freely and love. So, here you go. The DVD that launched countless frailers: Basic Frailing Banjo with Patrick Costello. As we ride out this epidemic together, I will be mining our archives and uploading more of our DVD workshops in full. Heck, I may dive into the unreleased interviews from The Down Neck Gazette (there are probably close to 100 tapes in the crate)!

God bless,

Alive and Cooking

Riding out Covid-19 and somehow sustaining ourselves on my homemade bread,  homemade pizza and tonight, I made a nice calzone from last night’s leftover pizza dough. It’s though, but we will get by somehow.

For Sale: 2015 Somerset Whyte – Laydie Prototype

My 2015 Somerset Whyte Laydie banjo is for sale.

Built in 2015 as a working prototype, I quickly fell in love with this instrument’s playability. I made it my everyday banjo for the next five years.

The neck of this banjo was shaped similar to an electric guitar, resulting in a light neck that is easy to fret. Coupled with the responsive Whyte Laydie tone ring, this banjo can hold its own in any setting.

As a prototype, this instrument lacks a bit of fit and finish, but that has no impact on playability or tine. It just plays like a dream. The frets up the neck could use a bit of dressing, and some of the bracket hooks are banged up. Wear and tear aside, this is a one of a kind banjo with tone and playability unlike anything else on the market right now.

  • Whyte Laydie tone ring
  • 3-ply maple rim
  • Maple neck
  • 3-band tuners
  • Grooved tension hoop
  • Rosewood fretboard, headstock overlay, and heel cap

Sold as-is. $1500.00 + shipping

Call 443-347-9387 for more information.


Flutter Wheels, by Helen Costello

I gave mom a bunch of watercolor painting supplies for her birthday. She is happily teaching herself to work the new medium in bed with Daisy the dog.

My mother has the right idea.

While we are going through this crisis, the best way to stay safe is to stay home.

To encourage you all to stay home, all of the videos on my YouTube channel and all ten of my books will be freely available and demonetized as we work through these difficult times.

If you would like to support our work or schedule a lesson, visit

If you can’t afford a lesson, just drop me a note. We can work something out.

In other news, Cochlear returned my bilateral BAHA sound processors and they still don’t work. I will fight with the company once life returns to normal, but until then I am back to being deaf. It sucks, but my problems are meaningless in the face of what some families are facing right now.

Make music. Be safe. Be strong. Be kind. We will prevail.

God bless each and every one of you.
-Patrick Costello

Best Thing Since…

bread and tea
Two loaves of white bread rising and a slice of my honey wheat bread drizzled with boiled cider

I ran to the store and the bread was sold out. So I went home and cranked up the oven. Less than an hour later and I have two loves of white rising while I chow down on a slice of honey wheat bread I made yesterday.

I am getting crumbs all over the keyboard as I write this. Homemade bread with boiled cider is now my favorite thing on earth.

All is well in Crisfield. I have been tied up with lessons, working on the new book and that other thing Dear Old Dad doesn’t want me to spill the beans about yet, so we are all safe and happy and keeping busy.

Stay safe, everybody!

God bless,


My first loaf of sourdough honey-wheat bead!
Taking care of sourdough starter is kind of like having a slimy weird pet that poops delicious bread – a fact that makes me wonder why more people don’t bake.

Warm bread shared with two households, and we still have plenty – with starter to make as much as we need.
This is not about food. I am learning a new Way in order to better understand the other paths I follow.
Like I said the other day, I guess this is how an artist heals.