From Neuros Moonshiner’s Facebook Page:
- Honorary Moonshiner: Patrick Costello -
I just want to take the time to say that banjo-guru and source of inspiration, Patrick Costello, is by all means an honorary Neuros Moonshiner band member.
At least I hope he finds it honorable!
As you may remember, the US Postal Service broke my new banjo.
A lot of you wrote to cheer me up, and while I am way behind on my written and electronic correspondence your kind thoughts and words were greatly appreciated.
And now, and update on where we stand at this moment.
We did all the insurance paperwork and Gary started on a new neck and checked out the old Vega pot (which is precious to me not because it’s a vintage item, but because Dear Old Dad gave it to me) and went to work on a new neck.
I got my first look at the work in progress today. It looks really cool.
I know banjos traditionally have a lot of pearl and abalone bling, but I love the look and feel of an unadorned fretboard. The lack of visual cues also goes well with my approach to the instrument.
This very Zen neck combined with the old twelve-inch Vega tubaphone pot should result in the single most bad ass banjo since Sabata.
Before we wrap this up there is one thing I want to make clear – something easily forgotten when it comes to the building of a custom instrument such as this – is that there is no such thing as a magic banjo. Yes, this will be a pretty amazing instrument, but go back through the workshops my father and I have posted over the last fifteen years and you will find that Patrick Costello sounds like Patrick Costello if he is playing an old Harmony or a crazily customized one of a kind banjo. It is never the instrument. It is always the player. The only thing remotely magical about this new five-string is that my Dear Old Dad came up with the idea and made it happen for me – which is all the magic this picker will ever need.
To catch up on the story:
- Banjo Conversion
- Frailing Bazooka (or) did you get the license number of that tubaphone?
- Building the Beast
- My New Banjo Is Almost Finished!
- So close, and yet so far freaking away
- The US Postal Service Broke My Banjo
- My Broken Banjo, Courtesy of the US Postal Service
- Busted-Up Banjo Update
Last, but not least, to learn about the signatures on the head of my Somerset S1P banjo, just repeat to yourself that it’s just a show . . .
When I was growing up Dear Old Dad and his best friend would play Tom Lehrer records and So Long Mom (A Song for World War III) was one of their favorite tracks. We sang it on hunting trips – and the freaky-weird @#%$ that happened on those hunting trips ensured that the songs became a huge part of my childhood.
Given what is happening in the news all I can think of is how remarkable it is that a scary majority of Tom Lehrer’s work is still topical . . .
I am still as sick as a dog fighting my latest bout with C. difficile, but there is a lot of good stuff happening with Somerset County Banjos, Folksingers Digest and a bunch of other things . . . more on that later.
Everything can’t be all about work, so Amy and I are marking a few dates on the calendar to visit Bombay Hook and Blackwater again. I haven’t been able to go wandering into the woods since October, so it will be good to dust off my camera and take in some of my Father’s world.
Another thing we are looking forward to is the celebration of Holi.
I have read about this festival of colors, but never dreamed I would be able to take part in it. Well, there is a Holi celebration in Washington DC on march 29th.
Amy and I will be there throwing color with the crowd. It would be wonderul if any of you in the DC area came out and joined in. Maybe we could have a jam session in the parking lot after the festival.
This why I love the Internet.
After I posted the bit about Mozart writing dirty songs I got a blip letting me know that somebody linked to the article on Google+. I clicked on the notice out of curiosity and, like Alice down the rabbit hole, I found wonderful things.
The first thing I found was an article where Makoto Fujimura answers a question concerning art, reason, ideology, and the death of Pete Seeger.
THat article/video led me to discover an absolutely lovely folk EP by The Goodly Beggars.
I love it when I run across things just by wandering around. If you don’t care where you are, then you ain’t lost.
Mental Floss has a neat article about some of Mozart’s more, um, unusual compositions. it’s a great read for anybody who claims that today’s music is somehow less refined than it was in the good old days.
And before anybody asks, yes, I still have the unfinished manuscript for my own collection of naughty songs arranged for banjo. Someday, Bawdy Banjo: Tunes of Unbridled Ribaldry will go to print. I just have a lot of projects to finish first.