Friday, May 15, 2009

Crisfield, Maryland. Small, But Briming with Talent.

I wish I had time on my hands to do nothing but run around town highlighting all of the creative people who live in Crisfield. I have so many people on my list, and eventually, I want to cover everyone. The people that I do cover are people that I randomly run into. When I have time, I make the most of the opportunity. Anyone who wants to be featured should contact me. You know what they say about the "squeaky wheel."

Today, I am featuring Patrick Costello. He is a wonderful musician, and both he and his dad play the banjo like angels playing harps.

I don't have time to go into all the details but you can Google or YouTube "Patrick Costello+Crisfield+banjos" and come up with numerous web sites. You can also get picking lessons at YouTube.

To make a very long story shot, Patrick started losing his hearing when he was young. Now that is a story unto itself. He lived in Philly at the time, and he would skip high school and ride the subway to town to play his guitar on the streets. One day, he met a old blues musician on the subway, and that was the start of his story.

Patrick has written books about playing the banjo and also sells them through his websites. Every third Saturday, anyone in our area who wants to learn how to pick, is welcome to free lessons at a local church. I am going to be there this month for photos and picking lessons.

Patrick and his dad also hold a musicians retreat every year at Janes Island State park in Crisfield. They have people come for all over the world. This year, I had a little time to squeeze in a few photos.

This is Patrick, on right, teaching someone how to play the guitar.

Patrick has his hand cupped around his ear in order to better hear the student. Sadly, his hearing has become worse. But the good news is he having an operation in a few weeks, and hopefully he will be able to hear again.

The operation, which will be performed at Johns Hopkins, is very expensive, but part of it was made possible by his many students who sent money to help out. And folks, no one set out a donation jar. He is such a sweet person, people insisted on helping.

The 3 day retreat also allows students and professionals to pick and play on their own schedule.

Below are some random photos I took. As you can see, people bring multiple instruments.

And there is always time for a little R&R:


Below is the main building at Janes State Park where the event was held.


These 2 photos are what jogged my memory. I had actually taken the retreat photos a few weeks ago. I saw Pat Costello at a recent street fest showing this cute little kid how to play a banjo. He was intrigued.

Good luck with your operation, Patrick!


Anonymous said...

What an inspiring post and great photos. I wish Patrick the very best with his operation. Thanks for sharing.

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

Let the music play on, Patrick!
Good luck.

Butler and Bagman said...

Ah, Bluegrass. Sends me the urge to string up the banjo in my closet -- rusty strings, I think by now -- There was one picture in there...the three (no four!) guys on the eyes got trapped in the visual dynamics of that one, moving back and forth from one player to the other, then to the guy in the background, then back...I began to worry I'd never be able to regain control of my eyes.

Butler and Bagman said...

Any idea what next week's shootout is?

Joanne said...

Music, such a universal language, drawing folks from all walks of life. Just seeing the focus on their faces here, in their own way, is pretty amazing, thanks to music. Best wishes to Patrick.

Gordon said...

Patty, I could sit and listen to home grown musis all day. I am the greatest at listening. I wish I had the talent to make it.
The new assignment is posted on my blog: PAINT THE TOWN RED. I am anxious to see interpretations of the theme.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Pickin' and grinin'! Wishing all the best for Patrick. What a guy. Thanks for introducing him!

ROSIDAH said...

I hope the operation will go on well. I can see from your photos that he must be a lovely man with wonderful friends! Have a great weekend, Patty :)

Casedilla said...

:D I wish I had a banjo. I'd sit on the porch and play it like a complete hillbilly and it'd be great.

Patty said...

Thanks to everyone who wishes Patrick well. I know he will appreciate your thoughts.

Strawberry Girl said...

People that give of their time like this, even dispite their own limitations are amazing!! I love to hear about them, thank you for sharing!

I too would like to throw blessings out there for Patrick on his operation. :D

Patty said...

Strawberry Girl: Pat and Patrick are special and talented people. They enjoy teaching people. And they love to entertain at no charge, and have done so at many events.

Garando said...

Very impressive. I always wanted to learn how to play the banjo, but the fingerpicking is just way too fast to get used to.
So I wish I had a chance to join a retreat like that. It looks like an awesome experience.
Btw, my "followers" widget is working now.

BT said...

What a lovely story in pictures. What a great guy he is too. I do hope his operation is a success. I, too, am deaf. It's hereditary, otosclerosis. I had an operation on my left ear but sadly it was not only a total failure, but left me with tinnitus too. Grrrr. I wish Patrick better luck.