Just This Banjo Now on Google Play and Google Books!

Just This Banjo is now available on Google Play in the following regions: AR, AS, AT, AU, BE, BG, BO, BR, BY, CA, CH, CL, CO, CR, CZ, DE, DK, DO, EC, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, GT, GU, HK, HN, HR, HU, ID, IE, IL, IN, IS, IT, JP, KG, KR, KZ, LT, LU, LV, MH, MP, MX, MY, NI, NL, NO, NZ, PA, PE, PH, PL, PR, PT, PW, PY, RO, RU, SE, SG, SI, SK, SV, TH, TR, TT, TW, UA, US, UY, UZ, VE, VI, VN, ZA

The book is also available on Google Books.

Print Copies:

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Pik-Ware Publishing (October 8, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974419079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974419077
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

Ebooks:

If eBooks are more your thing, we have plenty of options! 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 cover by Carlos Vazquez

Ink and Paper

Yesterday I got to hold a printed copy of Just This Banjo in my hands for the first time.

When I was a young boy wandering through the Chester County Library,  I can remember looking at all of the books and daydreaming that I would someday add my name to the list of authors in the card catalog.

The Internet is awesome in that you can electronically access virtually every book ever written, but for the tenth time in my life, I can’t help but marvel at the difference between seeing your words on a screen compared to holding a bound volume of pages printed with ink.  No matter how far we advance, there is still something powerful in the pages of a book.

Print copies of Just This Banjo are available through Amazon around the world. We are also in distribution, so you can ask for the book at your favorite bookstore or public library.

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Pik-Ware Publishing (October 8, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974419079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974419077
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

Ebooks:

If eBooks are more your thing, we have plenty of options! Just This Banjo is available for purchase, as a free download or can be read online 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.

True Stories

Right before I released Just This Banjo, I sent my friend Aaron a copy. A day or two later he texted me back:

The book is great. If I did not know you, I would think you were full of shit. Great job. WOW!

Back in 2003 when I wrote The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo, people were a tad more eloquent in calling bullshit on the stories within. They used the word apocryphal.

All of this makes Dear Old Dad and I laugh because I doubt I could write fiction with a gun to my head. All of this really happened. As crazy as the events in the book get, I have really only scratched the surface of my past. There is more to tell. A lot more.

Don’t take my word for it. Call Dear Old Dad (410) 968-3873. Ask him about any of the people, places, and events in Just This Banjo. He will tell you what he saw and heard with his own eyes and ears.

Just This Banjo is now available in print around the world!

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Pik-Ware Publishing (October 8, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974419079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974419077
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

Ebooks:

If eBooks are more your thing, we have plenty of options! 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.

Help Spread The Word!

If you enjoyed Just This Banjo, help us spread the word!

You can download the PDF and share with friends, post the full text on your own site or some other creative idea that lets folks know about the book. if you are worried about copyright, drop us a note.

Just This Banjo Now In Print!

Just This Banjo is now available in print around the world!

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Pik-Ware Publishing (October 8, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974419079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974419077
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

Ebooks:

If eBooks are more your thing, we have plenty of options! 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.

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

Joy!

Last night I stumbled upon a show called Joe Pera Talks With You and became an instant fan. The show is a take on those awful and pretentious Postcards From Nebraska they used to do on CBS Sunday Morning – and maybe a touch of Garrison Keillor. . . or maybe this is what would have happened if Garrison Keillor had any talent.

I loved the entire first season (every episode is free to watch on Adult Swim) – but Episode 6: Joe Pera Reads You The Church Announcements is my favorite. I have lived much this episode:

  • Discovering a song on the radio.
  • Calling the station and begging to play the song again.
  • Bothering other stations trying to hear the song again.
  • Listening to the song over and over again.
  • Inviting the pizza guy in to listen to the song.
  • Leading the congregation in the song even if it isn’t appropriate.
  • And on and on and on and on. . .

Season two of Joe Pera Talks With You was announced yesterday. I can’t wait.

Ten Years Later

On August 25, 2009 I was able to truly hear my music for the first time.

It was a life-changing moment, and ten years later the changes are still happening.

I can’t wait to hear what happens next.

Just This Banjo

Patrick in high school with his Dobro banjo.
Patrick as a teenager – right around the time many events in Just This Banjo take place.

My upcoming book, Just This Banjo, is almost finished. There are still a million things to finish, but the book itself is just about written.

Work has been impeded a bit by my health. The pain of peripheral neuropathy can be so overwhelming that it can send a potentially productive day down a dead end street. On some days the pain is so bad I just can’t think.

In spite of bad pain days, we are pages away from the final draft. Once that is finished we have to format the work and get it ready for release.

As a treat, here are the first couple of pages of the latest draft: Sneak Peek: Just This Banjo.

Next week I have some long days of medical tests and appointments in preparation for surgery to install a neurostimulation device on my spine to help manage my neuropathy pain. For the rest of this week into next week I will be putting The Daily Frail on hold so that I can finish up the last bits of writing and complete Just This Banjo.

Private lessons will continue as scheduled

If you have any questions about Just This Banjo, The Daily Frail, private instruction or electric banjos, call (410) 968-3873.

Six Gun Memories

When I was around seven years old, my parents drove to Florida to visit an old friend who happened to be a Seminole County Deputy Sheriff.

I could go on for ages about the trip and Deputy Jack. It was like visiting Buford T. Justice at home.

Deputy Jack took us to some of the tourist attractions, but there was one location he really wanted us to see: Six Gun Territory.

If you don’t know, Six Gun Territory was an old west theme park. They had stunt performers doing shootouts and amusement rides. It was good clean violent historically inaccurate American fun that would be shut down in ten seconds today.

When we arrived at Six Gun Territory, the place was closed.This is where I learned an important lesson: in Florida, things don’t close for deputy sheriffs. A few words with a flash of the badge from our friend Jack and the park opened up just for us. The stuntmen did a private show for us with a bank robbery and shootout. Then we got to go on any ride we wanted for as long as we wanted.

Imagine being seven years old and being told you can go on any ride you want – for as long as you want – with no waiting in line. It was awesome. We felt like royalty.

In a lot of ways, it was better than Disney World.

Today the Orlando Sentinel ran a story on Six Gun Territory. It made me smile to remember the fake gunfight and the smell of the blanks going off. The way Jack hitched his belt before flashing his badge and the way we had the whole park to ourselves.

Whatever happened to the staged gunfights and carnage at Six Gun Territory?