#1?

When I set up Just This Banjo for sale on Amazon I found myself in an interesting dilemma: how do I classify this book?

You see, Amazon seems to loathe small publishers. I won’t go too deep into it, but things are decidedly set up to make things hard for the little guy. One example of this is categories.

The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo has been selling well on Amazon since 2004. This is amazing because I do not know how people find the book. Amazon’s janky categorization system has the title listed under Arts & Photography.

A big publisher can get a title listed under musical instruments and banjo easily. Small presses like Pik-Ware Publishing get dumped into Arts and Photography.

With the release of Just This Banjo, I was trepidatious because the book is unclassifiable. Music was not an option, so I chose Taoism. It was the best option available, and the book does have a vein of Taoist philosophy running through it.

Well, this morning, Just This Banjo was the #1 New Release in Taoism.

Just This Banjo on Amazon

Read Just This Banjo!

Jim

Jim and I were friends in high school – which is amazing because I did not have friends in high school. He always seemed to enjoy the chaos the surrounds me.

Well, Jim is getting the storytelling bug. For a few months now he has been taking part in the First Person Arts StorySlam in Philadelphia. He hasn’t won yet, but he gets better every time.

I really want to do one of these with Jim, but travel is hard for me now. Epilepsy makes driving an impossibility and the neuropathy pain slows me down.

I have not seen Jim face to face in over thirty years.

The next StorySlam is on October 29th. If some kind soul is willing to give me a ride to Crisfield and back, give Dear Old Dad a call at (410) 968-3873.

I really would like to see Jim – and maybe give my storytelling skills a shot. I have not been on stage in ages, but I do have some spooky stories. For example, once, on a dare, spent an entire night sleeping in the historic Bradford Cemetery in Marshallton, Pennsylvania when I was nine. Happens to everybody, right?

Now On Kindle!

Just This Banjo is now available on Amazon Kindle!

Head over to https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YNT8G68/ for more information.

Just This Banjo is available for purchase or as a free download at these locations:

If you do download a free copy and enjoy the book, think about paying us $6.95 for the PDF. It will help with my next book: I loved the book! Here’s $6.95!

If money is tight, please share this book with a friend, write a review somewhere, sponsor us on Patreon, or anything else you can think of to spread the word.

About Just This Banjo:

Desperate for a way to communicate after losing his hearing, young Patrick Costello set his heart on becoming a musician. Ignoring the odds, empowered by his family and a karate grandmaster, Patrick won a banjo in a bet, salvaged a guitar from the trash and wandered into the city of brotherly love looking for a teacher. What happened next is an unbelievable true story of chasing improbable dreams, the kindness of strangers, the IRA, the Philadelphia Mummers, and unconditional love. Just This Banjo will make you laugh, cry and maybe inspire you to pick up an instrument yourself.

Just This Banjo Is Here!

cover of Just this Banjo

Desperate for a way to communicate after losing his hearing, young Patrick Costello set his heart on becoming a musician. Ignoring the odds, empowered by his family and a karate grandmaster, Patrick won a banjo in a bet, salvaged a guitar from the trash and wandered into the city of brotherly love looking for a teacher. What happened next is an unbelievable true story of chasing improbable dreams, kind-hearted strangers, the IRA, the Philadelphia Mummers, and unconditional love. Just This Banjo will make you laugh, cry and maybe inspire you to pick up an instrument yourself.

Get Your Copy Now!

Just This Banjo is free to download in PDF format. Download Now! You can also view the book on Medium and The Internet Archive.

If you really like the book, you can pay us $6.95 for the PDF. It will help with my next book. I loved the book! Here’s $6.95!

Why Give It Away?

From Just This Banjo:

As I was finishing up this book, the launching of impeachment hearings against President Trump was the breaking news headline. Every channel seemed to have angry people yelling at other angry people.
Seeking a reprieve, I went online and found more of the same anger everywhere I looked. A directionless cloud of rage that was eerily reminiscent of the Day of the Dove episode of Star Trek.
My father and I always advise our students, “if you see a need, fill it.” So, in defiance of the negative emotions of the day, I am making Just This Banjo freely available online.
Maybe, just maybe, the encouragement, support, and love I experienced will come through the pages and inspire even one person to stop being angry.
I was the least likely music student to ever fret a string. I was able to learn my craft because there were kind and decent people in the world – and that has not changed. Hopefully, my adventures will inspire you to, as Woody Guthrie put it, “vaccinate yourself right into the big streams and blood of the people.”
If you like the book, the eBook edition will be available for purchase at http://frailingbanjo.com.
You may also consider sponsoring our work on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Dobro33H
If for, some reason you can’t stand the book, donate to charity in the name of somebody you don’t like.

Just This Banjo

cover of Just this Banjo

Heads up, Patreon sponsors! Just This Banjo is now available for download!

Patreon sponsors can visit our page and choose from PDF, plain text, MOBI or ePub formats. 

We will be making the eBook available for sale soon, and a few other surprises are in the works.

About the book:

Desperate for a way to communicate after losing his hearing, young Patrick Costello set his heart on becoming a musician. Ignoring the odds, empowered by his family and a karate grandmaster, Patrick won a banjo in a bet, salvaged a guitar from the trash and wandered into the city of brotherly love looking for a teacher. What happened next is an unbelievable true story of chasing improbable dreams, the kindness of strangers, the IRA, the Philadelphia Mummers, and unconditional love. Just This Banjo will make you laugh, cry and maybe inspire you to pick up an instrument yourself.

This has been the single most difficult project I have ever taken on. Without your support, this book just would have been just another idea. 

I also have to express my gratitude to my father. Editing my stream-of-consciousness style of writing can be a herculean task. With this project, we also had an unusual twist in that this book was created while I was in the grip of excruciating pain. Somehow his patience and belief in the project paid off.  Thanks, Pop. We did it! 

It’s Done!

Yesterday I finished writing my ninth book, Just This Banjo.

We will be releasing the ebook to our Patreon Sponsors on 10/2/2019. We will explore wider distribution opportunities down the road.

I will draft an official synopsis for Just This Banjo tomorrow. I am so worn out that I just want to curl up with Pooka and vegetate for the day before we get back into regular day to day work.

Thanks for all of your support throughout this project.

God bless,
-Patrick

Soon!

Work on Just This Banjo is almost finished. The book is written, but I need to go over the draft a few more times before I put this project to bed.

Rather than putting the book up for sale, Just This Banjo will be released freely in ebook format to my Patreon sponsors. All of my other titles will also be freely downloadable by patrons.

We will get around to sales for non-sponsors one of these days.

Fair warning to fans of my more or less clean-cut image on YouTube: the language gets rough (this took place in Philadelphia, after all), a banjo gets sexually molested by a drunken Irishman, people get barfed on, and a there is a graphic description of how performers in the Philadelphia Mummers Parade go to the bathroom.

In other words, it isn’t always pretty. Truth has a nasty habit of working that way.

Watch for announcements soon. I can’t wait!

Just This Banjo Contents:

  • Introduction
  • The Rabbit
  • The Guitar Girl
  • The Core
  • Aunt Mannie
  • Paul the Beatnik
  • Tiny
  • Enter the Dobro
  • Why I Play the Banjo
  • Fine Irish Lads
  • Riding The Rails
  • I’ve Looked at Clowns From Both Sides Now
  • Harmonica Joe
  • The Old Man and the C Chord
  • Amish Elvis
  • A Show Of Shows
  • B♭
  • Mountain Music
  • Finding Elmore
  • Busted!
  • The House of the Rising Bouzouki
  • The Parade
  • The Tao and Uncle Tom
  • It’s A Sin
  • Tennessee Flat-Top Barf
  • Hootenanny!
  • The Parting Glass
  • Author’s Notes

Closer. . .

Just This Banjo is almost finished. I have a few more pages to pour over and then Dear Old Dad will complete the final edit.

There is a lot I can say about the writing of this book. Tragedy, health issues and more rained down on me as I wrote, but the process of revisiting the events of our past served to strengthen the bond I share with my father.

To let folks get a peek at what we are creating, here is a chapter from the book in PDF and plain text format:

Patrick and Dear Old Dad at the Mummers Show of Shows – and, yes, that is a prewar Gibson in Patrick’s mitts. . . It’s a long story.