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.

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


As more and more people start getting back into the world, we are slowly getting things back to normal here in Crisfield, MD.

During the worst of the shutdown, we opened up our archives to the world. It is only fair to the Patreon patrons who support us to limit access to our archives once again. We will keep the three most recent videos public until they are replaced with new uploads.

Stay safe, folks.


The Whole Lizard: For Bryan Dov Bergman

Bryan Dov Bergman writes:
This is a topic I have been trying to figure out, but never can. Dock Boggs for example mixes playing and the singing the melody, but then also going into rhythm for stretches of his songs. How do you know, if you want to emulate a sound like that? A playing style that goes back and forth between both.

Banjos and Donuts and Friends, Oh my!

Last night’s sessions at The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society were a joy. You missed some cool workshops, Jack Scrimshaw not only singing (the dude has a voice) an Irish song, but Bad Bad Leroy Brown was sung in Spanish by my brother Carlos and Higor from Brazil sang Red River Valley in Portuguese! So many songs were sung, questions asked and ideas thrown around that it would be hard to recall everything in detail – and that is just how it should be.

If you missed it, come next week.

If you are too shy to attend, give Dear Old Dad a call. Really. He’ll coax you in.

You see, TWNBADMS is not a forum, jam or anything like that. We are simply folk musicians sharing our love of the craft. All are welcome. Everyone is a teacher and a student. Come out and play!

Kind of like The Ring, but with barf, Taoism and Patrick…

VHS tape of the interview I did on WBOC TV 47 on the release of The How and the Tao of Old-Time Banjo.

I had a horrific ear infection that gave me vertigo. So, right before the interview I got so dizzy that I just about turned myself inside out throwing up.

Rather than screw up the shoot, I borrowed Dear Old Dad’s eye patch (he had retinopathy at the time), threw a leather jacket over my shirt and combed most of the barf out of my hair just in time for the interview.

Lucky me, I have a tape to remember the occasion!

Thankfully, I don’t have a working VHS…


Memorial Day Weekend is a day of remembrance, suburban dads overcompensating over raw meat and the beginning of summer.

Summer is an interesting time for artists. We hole up through the cold weather practicing and honing our skills, while we spend the summer usually berating ourselves either for backing away from opportunities or diving in and screwing up.

I think the thing that trips people up when they are learning is a fear of making mistakes. We expect ourselves to get everything perfect on the first try – but that never happens.

You learn by doing. Not to get it right. Not to make it perfect. Just to do it.

There is a lot I could say about this, but I found this essay I shared last year that puts it better than I could – and he used my words doing it. That’s pretty cool!

Sticky Buns

I made two loaves of my sourdough honey whole wheat bread (we just all it bread). My neuropathy was hurting too bad to relax, so I gave making some sticky buns a shot.

Sticky buns are delicious, but tricky to make because the buns are baked in a syrup of brown sugar, two sticks of butter, honey, molasses, white sugar, as well as an unhealthy dollop of both light and dark corn syrup. Once you bake the rolls, you flip the pan over into another pan so that all the syrup that did not bake into the sticky buns drizzles down and soaks into the tops of the buns.

I am glad I did this when nobody was home, because everything went perfect up until that flipping the pan of hot rolls, scalding hot liquid sugar, salt and fat into a new pan.

It was not pretty…

I did not hurt myself, but many paper towels were sacrificed.

Thankfully, the sticky buns are fine.

Now for a mug of hot coffee, a slice of fresh bread and a nap. I’ll have to wait until my folks get home to get any feedback on the sticky buns.