Streaming Soon

The audio tracks for Louis Collins and The Panama Limited will be showing up on your favorite streaming media services like Spotify soon. Each song has a page with links to the track. You can even pre-save the songs on Spotify, so they pop up on your playlist as soon as they go live.

The Panama Limited

The Panama Limited

Louis Collins

Louis Collins

In a few days all six of the initial batch of songs will be streaming. I have to admit this feels a lot like the first time I saw a copy of The How and the Tao of Old-Time Banjo on a library bookshelf.

The rest of the project will not be released to the public until the entire thing is finished. I will post files and updates for patrons as I work, but I am going to focus on this and lessons for the next week or so.

Keep in mind that the YouTube videos from these sessions only have camera audio. If you want to hear the actual performances, browse through the sound files.

There is some really cool stuff in the next batch of songs. Open Dm tuning, a slide take on a rock classic, and even a little gospel. I have not a title for the project and I don’t think album art is an issue for a home-brewed banjo blues collection. If you have thoughts, send them our way.

On a side note, Mephistopheles the feral cat is slowly adjusting to domestic life. While it has been a long uphill battle, but patience and love are paying off. He is huge, gentle and smart as a whip. He drools when he purrs, somersaults like a red panda, eats like Joey Chestnut, and I love him more than chocolate.

Half…

More or less halfway through.

I will be honest and admit that it is absolutely buttocks clenching like sumo wrestlers pulling taffy terrifying to be home recording without my hearing aids. Once I start singing, I can’t hear my banjo.

I picked up the Zoom H4n Pro for a completely different project (more on that later). Once I got a sense of how good this gadget can pick up my banjo, it just made sense to start experimenting.

I won’t say this is the long-awaited blues project. That would be tempting, but to properly completely that I really need/want to get into a studio. This is something else – and don’t ask me what it is exactly because I don’t know. I just know that this is the most fun I have had with music since I was a kid playing hooky to busk on the streets of Philly.

The first six tracks are working their way onto the streaming music services. Not all are available yet, but they are in the pipeline.

The next six high-quality audio tracks will be posted for Patreon sponsors first, and then released as a complete package.

Also, I know the camera audio on the YouTube videos I made recording these tracks is not up to the standard of the Zoom. My hearing is so bad that I can’t edit the sound to swap the two. So, video for proof that it really is just one guy making the sounds of a small band with his banjo, and the audio files for the actual musical experience.

Please, share these links and even share the files. I am the worst self-promoter on the planet, so any help in getting the music to new ears would be a huge help.

I have the next six or so songs picked out, but I am open to suggestions, requests and dares.

Oh! Almost forgot. Tom Rush liked my cover of The Panama Limited :).

Hope

I wrote this back at the start of the first lockdown…

With so much pain and anger in the world right now, the paywall is back down. I can’t afford to do it (Patreon is most of my income, Amazon takes an insane 55% of my profits when I sell a book through their site – and we have to pay for shipping), but there are people right now losing everything. There are people in need.

Stay home. Stay safe. Be kind.

Stop wasting time. Stop following the shoe or following the gourd. Practice, get good and be ready – because when this is over the world is going to need banjo players. We may not have the sexiest of jobs in the music world, but we make mothers dance with their babies. We sing songs that draw deep emotions. We carry the traditions – the real traditions that use music , food, stories, fellowship, laughter to remind us that we are all one family.

If you can send a buck my way on Patreon, it would help. Also, if you are of a mind, spread the word about my music on Spotify and other platforms.

If you can’t help, I’ll teach you anyway. It may be impractical, but it is true to the man I am trying so hard to be.

Stay safe. I love you all.

Patrick Costello
Crisfileld, Maryland

PS:
We will be shutting down the Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society over the holidays. Dear Old Dad and I will make a final decision about the ground in January.

https://www.youtube.com/dobro33h

Thoughts From Dear Old Dad

Gene

This morning a bad storm is rolling over Crisfield. This always makes my migraines, arthritis and neuropathy scream. I was randomly surfing the web to take my mind off the pain and I discovered some news from way back in April. Gene Shay, a Philadelphia DJ who hosted a folk music program on WHYY when I was a teenager, died of Covid-19.

For about five solid years I spent every Sunday night with my one semi-functional ear to a boombox speaker. The radio would be tuned to Gene’s show. I would have my finger on the record button, ready to spring into action the moment Gene played a good song

I can still remember the night I heard Mississippi John Hurt sing Coffee Blues on his show.

I drove Gene Shay Crazy. I would call his show complaining about the songs I did not care about and making requests for every song I had read about in music books. It got so bad that when I finally met Gene in person at a convention twenty years ago his face contorted into a knot, tightening into a moue of displeasure until he moaned, “Oh God! It’s YOU!” before running away.

Goodbye, Gene. Thanks for the music. You will be missed.

Spotted on Spotify!

In addition to Spotify, you can find me on iTunes, Amazon Music, Bandcamp and other services including YouTube Music and TikTok.

If you like these tracks, don’t be bashful. Spread the word. The country blues is not exactly mainstream. Factor in the banjo and the bottleneck and the result is the kind of thing that needs to be shared to be discovered. I could use your help in that department.

As winter rolls along and I get more comfortable with the mic, we will be going into some more complicated slide pieces. The more I use the bottleneck, the more intuitive it becomes. Almost like an extension of my voice. I am excited to see how far I can take the banjo and slide combination – both acoustic and electric.