“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.”
“Hailed The Merry God of Banjo by The Washington Post, Patrick Costello lost most of his hearing to childhood ear infections. He learned to sing, play the banjo, guitar, harmonica, ukulele, fiddle, dulcimer, autoharp, and other instruments through a combination of family support, his indomitable will, and the kindness of musicians he met along the way.”
This is the story of a deaf banjo player. Really? Yes, really.
A now deceased friend was deaf and among the best country dancers in my little town, teaching dancing to the less talented at the local bars. So, the concept of a deaf banjo player didn’t seem as off the wall to me as it will to some potential readers. The author explains in a few places that deafness can have multiple causes and in some instances a deaf person can find ways to almost hear. The author’s deafness adds a twist to this memoir, but the bigger part could be applicable to anyone looking to become proficient at a musical instrument. And the story as a whole is a good one that anyone could learn from.
If you want to buy Just This Banjo follow the links below. It’s available on Amazon as a paper book or an ebook. But (don’t tell Amazon) the author has also made the ebook available in multiple formats for free at this link.
Some adult language.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words