Paw Paw – Geraldine

 Geraldine, a Baltimore-based bluegrass/oldtime band consisting of Josh Anderson (fiddle, vocals), John Bolten (guitar, vocals), Jocelyn Haverset (bass, vocals), and Jonathan Locke (banjo, fiddle, mandolin, vocals), is a cohesive combo whose devotion to cause appears both natural and inspired. A followup to Harvester, their 2019 debut, Paw Paw finds them sharing nine original songs with an engaging and endearing enthusiasm. Their talent and tenacity are apparent, but even so, the approach they take is careful and considered, opting for more delicate designs at every opportunity.

After consolidating their current line-up in 2018, the band has become regulars at their city’s annual bluegrass events, winning a spate of critical kudos in the process. It’s little wonder; the music is amiable, accessible, catchy, and credible, all in equal measure. It appears seemingly effortless and unassuming, a series of songs that state a genuine love of down-home desire, along with honesty and humility. The steady stride of Paw Paw, and the easy, unhurried attitude of Life By the Reins, confirm the fact they’re all about sharing some good-natured intent. Would If I Could betrays a certain stoic determination, but for the most part, it’s a decidedly light-hearted attitude that prevails overall — whether it’s through the fiddle-fueled revelry of Under the Mountain and Chicken TV, the joy and jubilance of In the Water, or the mellow repast that accompanies the beautiful ballad, Embers.

Then again, closing track Grand Old Time would seem to say it, a sparkling and spirited romp that fully reflects their love of old time Appalachian music, with honesty, humility, and imagination. Four part harmonies and instrumental prowess would seem to prove the point, but it’s attitude as well as agility that drives that devotion home.

Ultimately then, Geraldine find no need to rely on any sort of flash or frenzy. Indeed, Paw Paw provides the proof.

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About the Author

Lee Zimmerman

Lee Zimmerman has been a writer and reviewer for the better part of the past 20 years. He writes for the following publications — No Depression, Goldmine, Country Standard TIme, Paste, Relix, Lincoln Center Spotlight, Fader, and Glide. A lifelong music obsessive and avid collector, he firmly believes that music provides the soundtrack for our lives and his reverence for the artists, performers and creative mind that go into creating their craft spurs his inspiration and motivation for every word hie writes.