Happy New Ubuntu Day!

Patrick Linux 1 Comment

Ubuntu 14.10, code-named Utopic Unicorn, was released today – just a few days after the Linux distribution’s tenth birthday.


I am downloading the ISO image for the Ubuntu Gnome release as I write this. Joy!

Ubuntu Gnome screenshot

I think every folk musician should become at least a little bit comfortable working with Linux. Why? Because Linux is the software equivalent of a folk song. Something free and beautiful built a bit at a time by people just for the love of it – just like folk music.

The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo 52 Reviews

Patrick banjo, Patrick Costello, The Daily Frail Leave a Comment

The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo

The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo was reviewed on Amazon for the fifty-second time today – it is also worth pointing out that it was the 44th 5-star review.

This isn’t exactly a big deal in terms of my ego. I mean, come on, guys. You know me. I don’t base my self-worth on reviews or public opinion.

The truth is that reviews help us reach new banjo students and they help us sell books.

New students keep the craft going and book sales help us continue to produce workshops.

People ask me all the time what they can do to help us keep The Daily Frail going. Well, there are three things you can do:

  • Make and share music in your community.
    That is the most important thing. Just get out and keep the folk process going.
  • Buy a book or video from us if you can.
    If you can’t afford to buy anything that’s okay. The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo will always be freely available.
  • Write honest reviews.
    Let people know how a book helped you. It is an easy way for you to assist us in reaching as many people as possible!

Now, if you did pick up your copy of The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo from Amazon, be sure to visit Pik-Ware publishing and check out the book’s Companion CD as well as the video tutorials in our Thumb’s Up Sale.

Wow. 52 reviews on Amazon . . . It still boggles my mind that something I wrote to help kids in an after-school banjo club has grown into a book that has been read by people around the world for the last ten years.

Little Things Mean A Lot

Patrick music Leave a Comment

Hi Patrick,

Hope you are all well.
I’ve been working up a version of an old song from the fifties that has been covered by heaps of artists,
‘Little things mean a lot’
Just thought I would send it on to you to share and maybe raise a smile.

We will try it at our next Catherine Wheel pub gig, it should sound better with the whole band playing and everyone singing along.

Bristol UK

Download MP3

In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree

Patrick banjo, music, people 2 Comments

Björn in Sweden writes:

I am a beginner on the banjo and would love to play clawhammer. Have bought a banjo high quality and was wondering what you recommend for strings. I want the sound to be big and dark when I play along with guitar and piano. I do not play with a plectrum but with the nail. Would be glad if you have any good tips on strings or other tips to get an old sound of the banjo. See also the attached file.
Thanks in advance and your banjo playing is super!
Normally, I play bass in a New Orleans band.


Patrick banjo, Crisfield, Dear Old Dad, music, Patrick Costello, people Leave a Comment

John form Pennsylvania showed up at our door unexpectedly the other night. He wound up getting a quick banjo workshop out on the front porch with Dear Old Dad, and even managed to catch the sunset at Janes Island before he was back on the road.

It really was a nice surprise visit!

He snapped this selfie with Dear Old Dad and myself before he hit the road. It was nice to get a copy. We have done a lot of slefie-style photographs with folks at workshops, but I hardly ever get a copy of the picture for myself!

selfie with Pat & Patrick

Janes Island sunset