The New Pat & Patrick Project
May 21, 2011
When I got sick in February one of the things I realized was how much I miss working with Dear Old Dad. The two of us still talk every day via Skype – and that is wonderful – but I miss the tight wire act feeling we get improvising in front of an audience.
My father and I have done a lot of work on stage, but our act really developed when we were working in radio. We initially started out producing a one hour show for WBEY in Crisfield on a beat up Tascam four-track tape recorder. It was a primitive setup (it used cassettes! I feel so old!), but the resulting show was so popular we wound up being invited to another station to do a live show. I was excited, but when we walked into the studio at WKHI I had no idea how to work any of the equipment. The owner the station gave me a brief rundown of how the board worked before heading for home and leaving us to our own devices.
We suddenly had a four-hour time slot on Sunday nights with free reign over an entire FM radio station!
The station owner paused long enough at the door to offer one bit of wisdom: “Do whatever you want. Nobody is going to listen anyway.”
There was something cathartic in the realization that we were possibly talking to dead air. There was something even more cathartic in realizing that the schmuck who owned the station was so apathetic that he didn’t care what we did to or with his radio station. We were free to let our imaginations run wild. I turned on the microphones, cued up an LP and started talking to my dad without worrying if anybody was listening.
A year later 28.8% of the possible radio audience in our broadcast area was tuning in. The station made a lot of money off of us and other folks there tried like hell to figure out our formula. They never quite got the simple fact that all my father and I were doing was talking to each other like nobody was listening.
After the radio gig my father and I discovered the Internet. We started our first web page in the late 90’s. The original idea was to take our radio show online, but somehow we wound up giving banjo lessons. That has worked well for us. Today dailyfrail.com reaches upwards of 60,000 people a month and our YouTube channel gets similar traffic. That isn’t counting the files stored on archive.org! It was just a matter of picking up my banjo and talking to my dad without worrying if anybody was listening.
We know now that people are listening. A LOT of people – but that didn’t change anything because over the years our friendship has deepened to the point where the two of us can be perfectly comfortable talking to each other in front of huge audiences.
In the space of nearly fifteen years Dear Old Dad and I have produced hundreds of video and audio lessons. Things are now at the point where our students are out there teaching. I am honestly proud of that . . . but I miss working with my Dear Old Dad.
I have been talking to dad over the past few weeks and we have come up with a format for a weekly online radio show that would allow us, to use a line from The Blues Brothers, “get the band back together!” We have the idea and we have the skill to pull it off, but we need help getting the project off the ground.
In order to podcast ourselves playing and singing a wide range of music we need to pick up licenses from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. These licenses will also allow us to play selected tracks from CD’s furnished by artists and record labels. We also need to pick up some up to date audio & video equipment.
Here is how you can help:
$20.00 – Be a supporter
We will add your name to the list of supporters on our web page.
$40.00 – Signed 8×10 picture
Dear Old Dad found a small stash of our old publicity photos. A great shot of Pat & Patrick from the mid 90’s. There are only a few of these left! In addition to the picture, we will add your name to the list of supporters on our web page.
$50.00 – Signed Copy of The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo
The book that started it all signed by Pat, Patrick, Miss Trudy & Amy. In addition to the book, we will add your name to the list of supporters on our web page.
$100.00 – Linoleum block print by Carlos Vazquez
An incredible image of Patrick playing his guitar. There are only a few of these prints left! In addition to the print, we will add your name to the list of supporters on our web page.
I love these instruments. I have enjoyed playing them, but I am willing to part with them to make this project happen.
Prices include shipping in the USA. Contact us for foreign shipping costs.
To order call Dear Old Dad at (410) 968-3873
If you buy an instrument we will add your name to the list of supporters on our web page.
$500.00 – Patrick’s cigar box banjo.
A prototype sent to me by Papa’s Boxes. It’s a prototype so the fit and finish is not perfect and the neck has a slight bow – but this is still one sweet little banjo. Comes with a nice gig bag. You can see & hear the banjo in this workshop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd1Ek40VU-0
$2500.00 – Patrick’s personal Somerset S-1P banjo. – Sold!
The best banjo I have ever played. This was the prototype S-1P so there are cosmetic flaws and it shows heavy playing wear. Package comes with a leather strap, my old compensated bridge and my old Price Straightline SL-5 tailpiece.
$2500.00 – Patrick’s personal Somerset S-6 guitar.
Looks like a banjo, but it plays like a guitar. The only S-6 ever built. This was the prototype S-6 so there are cosmetic flaws and it shows heavy playing wear. Package comes with a hardshell case. You can see & hear the banjo in this workshop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDYvcCBUdko