Gorka's songs reflect stages and changes in personal lifeJohn Gorka is widely recognized today as an acoustic folk musician who has traveled the world performing original songs in a rich baritone voice.
By: Ruth Nerhaugen, The Republican Eagle
John Gorka is widely recognized today as an acoustic folk musician who has traveled the world performing original songs in a rich baritone voice.
But back in the 1970s, he was a college student in Pennsylvania, studying philosophy and history and hanging out at a neighborhood coffeehouse. Music enticed him - especially the sounds of acoustic folk troubadours like Tom Paxton and Claudia Schmidt. There was no turning back.
Gorka's first album, "I Know," was released by Minnesota-based Red House Records in 1987. Its success caught the attention of Windham Hill's High Street Records, which recorded his next several albums.
He began touring cross-country and in Europe, and was lauded by Rolling Stone Magazine as "the preeminent male singer/songwriter of the new folk movement." Other folk artists also found success with his original songs, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Gorka was featured on the Nashville Network and other television programs.
Gorka decided to return to his musical roots at Red House Records in 1998. He moved to Minnesota, got married and became a father - events which prompted more songs. He released "After Yesterday."
His most recent release, "So Dark You See," is an album that looks back to his origins, including a new look at some classics and some of his most compelling originals - among them the fan favoarite "Ignorance & Privilege."
The album opens with an acoustic love ballad, "A Fond Kiss," which Red House said is a haunting Robert Burns poem that Gorka set to new music."
Gorka described it as "a little folk festival with many voices and more than one style of music," as it also features fellow songwriters Eliza Gilkyson and Lucy Kaplansky, along with Red House friends Dean Magraw and Peter Ostroushko.
His current tour is in support of the new release, which is his 11th studio album. In addition to the Sheldon concert with Dala, Gorka has scheduled an appearance June 12 at Crossings at Carnegie, Zumbrota.
For more, go online to www.johngorka.com.