my grandfather's desk

I am finishing up the fourteenth chapter of my book in process.

When Amy died in September I found myself at a loss for words. It wasn’t writers block, it just hurt to remember. When I married Amy I made her my true north. I thought all of the adventures were just steps that led me into her arms. Without her I questioned everything. Lost with a broken compass. 

On Monday night I worked with adults getting started on the guitar, while all around me kids were teaching each other ukulele and a young boy learned the basic frailing strum faster than anybody we have ever encountered.

The young banjo student doesn’t have a banjo. His dad is serving in the Navy right now. On the ride home my father and I talked about helping the young man get a banjo of his own. We laughed over some of the trouble I got into when I was the same age, and for the first time in a while the memories did not hurt quite as bad.

I am never going to get over Amy. The good and the bad, the bitter and the sweet, are carved in me all the way down to the bone. I will, however, find a way to keep working. To use the good and the hurt and transform it into words and music as I have always done.

I will have Chapter Fourteen up for our Patreon sponsors soon. Thank you all for your patience.

God bless,

5,000,000 And Counting

Last night we reached another milestone when we passed five million views on YouTube.

Five million plays on YouTube. The number boggles the mind.

Our top ten most popular videos:

Some of our shared experiences on YouTube have been life-altering.

Other YouTube moments were . . . welll . . .

Through it all we have been sharing a message of love, joy, simplicity and creativity. 

Here’s to the next five million views! And the millions after that!

God bless

Offline Thursday

Wednesday afternoon I was at the grocery store with Dear Old Dad and I got hit with a bad migraine. It hit so hard and so fast I just about fell over.

It’s so late Wednesday night right now that its Thursday morning, and I still feel like hammered #$%&. I am going to give my brain a slight break and turn off the computers for the day. Stay offline and focus on writing. 

If my brain pain and the weather allows, Dear Old Dad and I are planning to visit special place for me, and it’s jut down the road from Crisfield, but I never get to visit now that I can’t drive.

I have other news to share, but it’s late enough to be early and my head hurts really bad. I’m going to watch a bad horror movie. Nights like this call for the big guns, so it’s either The Abominable Dr. Phibes or The Green Slime.That will work as well as meditation to get me rested so that I can write tomorrow.

Thanks to all of you for the kind comments on my recent videos. You are all such amazing people. I will have to work harder to measure up to your kind words.

God bless,

Old Time Banjo With Patrick and Dear Old Dad

I found a packaging sample from one of our most successful instructional video projects, Old Time Banjo With Patrick and Dear Old Dad.

We produced a lot of instructional videos between 2000 and 2003 with some of the best teachers in the business. I had no intention of ever teaching in front of a camera, so when we could not find a suitable frailing banjo teacher it was up to Dear Old Dad to do the job.

We were shocked at how popular this CD ROM workshop became. We tried to generate interest in our other titles, but people did not want fiddle or various guitar styles. They wanted old-time banjo. They wanted us playing and singing and having fun.

After this project we stopped publishing anything but our own videos. In 2003 I accidentally wrote The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo and we never looked back.

Real Player is old and buggy technology, so we uploaded the video to YouTube. The tab is no longer available, but you can find all of the songs in my books and essays.

After all these years, not many teachers can come close to Dear Old Dad, and our little jam session at the end of part 8 still remains unique. It’s cool to have your work reach so many people for such a long time. I can’t wait to see what happens down the road when all of you start teaching!

Mature Content With Banjos

We got word from Patreon yesterday that, due to some of the language in my book-in-progress, our Patreon page has been marked as mature content. I am willing to bet that the Irish banjo molester did not help the situation.

When we started this book Dear Old Dad and I talked at great length about modifying the language and possibly editing out some of the, shall we say, impolite things that happened. It is not our intention to upset or offend anyone, but the guys who taught me had a way of saying things. Being from Philadelphia, so do we. The goal of the book is to tell what really happened, so we decided against modifying the language.

None of this changes anything. The book is still rolling out one handwritten chapter at a time, and working so closely with my dad once again is turning out to be an entire new adventure. How cool is that?