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

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

Progressively Progressing

I just left 95% of the edited final draft of Just This Banjo on Dear Old Dad’s desk this morning. I was up burning the midnight oil catching tiny typos that turn invisible the first dozen times we edited the pages.

There is still a small amount of work to be done, so naturally my computer died. A new desktop tower should be here tomorrow, and then I will be able to finish up the book.

My brother Carlos created the cover image. Ten years ago Carlos also created a linoleum block portrait of me playing my Dobro 33H. I have to admit that I take great pride in having a friend who knows me well enough to capture me with a few shapes.

cover art for Just This Banjo by Carlos Vazquez

Once the last pages are edited I will get to work formatting the ebook edition and getting copies out to our patrons before making the work available for sale.

Once Just This Banjo is released, we will begin work on the next projects. We have some cool stuff in the works – including a new direction for The Banjo Dojo! 

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.