The following are excerpts from my article on Examiner.
There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who love music, and those who feel music. It runs through them. It’s not just in their hearts, but it’s a part of their soul, moving them in a way impossible to capture merely with words. Blues singer and guitarist, Geoff Caldwell, is the latter.
I had the privilege of attending a small, intimate performance by the Geoff Caldwell Band last Thursday evening. The guitarist was accompanied by Liquid Liquid drummer , Scott Hartley, providing percussion, washtub bass, and backup vocals. Guy DeRosa brought an authentic blues feel to the group with his impressive harmonica and kazoo contributions. And rounding out the quartet was jazz pianist and newest member, Drew Brady, who showcased his recently acquired mandolin talents.
The musicians appeared with the exception of Guy, who quickly joined as the band got started. Geoff began cracking jokes right off the bat.
“Hello, hello! Nice crowd. I guess the price is right… Hope you get your money’s worth!” he teased.
The entire evening felt like a warm conversation among friends. In between songs, the musicians would discuss everything from audience requests to trivia knowledge of icons like Geoff’s inspiring personal favorite, Reverend Gary Davis, who he described as “full of passion, joy and beauty. He sings like a man possessed.”
Though the band had a set list, they didn’t follow it. “Andrew, tell everyone a joke while I figure out what’s next. We’re known for our long periods of awkward silence,” Geoff confessed. However, every musical silence was filled with either a story, joke, or laughter. And more often than not, a combination of the three.
As the band started to groove, Geoff switched between fingerpicking his Gibson j-200 and 1927 National Tri-cone steel guitar. He led on vocals throughout the evening, but the others joined to create warm harmonies. Halfway through the hour and a half set, Scott Hartley was jammin so hard that he snapped the string from the washtub bass right in half! But that didn’t stop the quartet for one moment, other than to have a quick laugh, of course.
The entire evening was a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, set by both the bluesy style sweetness and the bands easy-going, cheerful disposition. Geoff’s passion while playing could not only be seen and heard, but more significantly, it could be felt.
“I love to sing, I love to feel the body of my guitar vibrate against my body”
The band authentically captured the powerful style of country/blues. Getting lost in the vivid music, I could feel the hot sun of the “deep south” on my face as I closed my eyes. An overall fantastic musical experience and I can’t wait to attend the next performance!
Geoff’s album, Geoff Caldwell Blues, was released last year. You can listen to his version of “Now Matter How She Done It” below, as well as a preview of all fifteen songs from the album here. Enjoy!
[As seen on Examiner]