Andrew Pauls, a 2017 Goshen College graduate, returned to town to perform at Goshen Brewery Company (GBCo) last Sunday, Feb. 17. He played a two-hour set.

Usually, Pauls performs in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he lives with his spouse. His music can be described as folk or bluegrass. During his event at GBCo, he played the acoustic guitar and harmonica while singing.

His artist bio says, “Themes of hope, sadness and striving fill Andrew Pauls’ original songs. Rooted in traditional American folk music, Andrew’s lyrics dance with soulful banjo and guitar playing to create thought-provoking songs. In Andrew’s music, listeners will hear influences from songwriting veterans John Prine and Bob Dylan with hints of contemporary artists like Mandolin Orange and Tallest Man on Earth.”

Pauls, who majored in peace, justice and conflict studies with minors in music and Bible and religion, said he is “interested in the way music can hold together a world that can feel as if it is falling apart.”

While at Goshen, Pauls also began playing in the “Theory Expats,” a folk band consisting of fellow GC students Ethan Setiawan and Sadie Gustafson-Zook. This band has completed two tours (2015 and 2018).

Landon Weldy, a senior, attended the event.

“He’s got a real Paul Simon/Bob Dylan vibe going on,” Weldy said. “His kind of music has a nice summer feel to it, which is nice considering all the snow outside.”

Pauls’ show did not just attract audience members from within town. Several recent graduates of Goshen College, many of whom knew Pauls while still in school, returned to GBCo to hear him perform.

“In addition to listening to great music, it was fun to catch up with people that have graduated from Goshen,” Weldy said.

Pauls has released a couple albums of original music, from which he played on Sunday evening.

While singing, he told stories about where he got the inspiration from for certain songs. This allowed the audience to get involved.

“Some of his songs I knew from various albums he had released,” Weldy said. “Even those I was unfamiliar with—it was pretty easy to feel comfortable with the music and start humming along or tapping my foot.”