Keys To The Highway goes live

Keys To The HighwayPatrick Costello is nothing if not dedicated to music – banjo music in particular.

We posted previously about his having learned to play despite a severe hearing loss suffered as a child, and then regaining his hearing after a successful surgical implant. Costello has spent much of his time since teaching banjo, with a special focus on students with various impairments and disabilities. He has even developed a Braille-like tab system for visually-impaired pickers, and has a number of instructional books for clawhammer (The How and Tao of Old Time Banjo, Songs For Sunday).

His newest project is a weekly music podcast, Keys To The Highway, distributed free online. The show features Patrick and his dad, Pat, in an hour-long program of folk music and musings.

“The show itself is our attempt to blend together the various branches of folk music with small-town radio. In addition to the music sent in by record labels, we are also collecting interviews with musicians, community leaders, farmers and everyday folk from across Maryland and Virginia.
The project started last summer. We posted on our blog that we were thinking about starting up a music podacst and our banjo students from around the world got together to raise funds so we could get some recpording equipment and cover licensing fees. My health issues forced us to delay launching the project, but now that I am back on my feet we are ready to get rolling.
Mountain Roads Recordings has sent us some wonderful bluegrass and old time music, along with Rebel and Bloodshot who are sending us some cool country and blues. We have also been lucky enough to hear from young bands like old-time-techno-fusion trio, Harp and a Monkey, from the UK, and the Deep Chatham from North Carolina who’s sound is hard to describe but it comes across as traditional and completely new at the same time.”

Their second podcast has just been released, and Costello tells us that he is having a blast hanging out with Dear Old Dad, having an outlet outside of teaching, and introducing people to to some of the amazing music that is out there waiting to be rediscovered.

Episodes of Keys To The Highway can be accessed online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.