Weather Forecast


When Gorka, Johnson meet

John Gorka sings songs from his latest album, “Bright Side Down,” Saturday June 28 at the State Theatre in Zumbrota. Folk musician Michael Johnson also performs.

Two folk music legends will take the stage at the State Theatre, playing their own sets, then joining forces as Crossings brings Michael Johnson and John Gorka to Zumbrota.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Saturday June 28.

Gorka will entertain with songs from “Bright Side of Down.” The album, released in March, is the first Red House Records release in over four years from the acclaimed songwriter.

On the record, guest vocal appearances include Red House labelmates Lucy Kaplansky, Eliza Gilkyson and Claudia Schmidt as well as Johnson.

There are 11 original songs and one cover, "She's That Kind of Mystery" by his late friend Bill Morrissey.

The album explores broad themes of winter-to-spring - unforgiving edges, saving beauty and being at the mercy of larger forces.

"I think my experience living in Minnesota has brought a certain perspective to this record,” Gorka said. “You'll find it in the images but also in the idea that in spite of bitter cold and wind, people find ways to hold each other up and keep going."

Gorka composed the songs on the road and at his home studio before bringing them into the Brewhouse Studio in Minneapolis.

He'd record demos and let them “rest” to see if they aged well. The result is an album in the true sense of the word — a sequenced group of songs that works as a whole.

Johnson will perform his music from his latest 2012 album “Moonlit Déjà Vu.”

Johnson’s perhaps known best for his songs “Bluer Than Blue” or “Give Me Wings.” He started playing at the age of 13 and he just never quit. Singing, playing, writing and recording are the only things he has ever done and he says he loves it.

“I like to talk to people and I love to make them laugh,” he said. “I have to move them with the music. That's the whole thing. Without that, there is no reason to be on stage.”

Tickets are $25 in advance, $28 at the door. To reserve tickets, visit, call 507-732-7616 or stop in to Crossings at 320 East Avenue in Zumbrota.

If you go …

Who: John Gorka and Michael Johnson

When: 8 p.m. Saturday June 28

Where: State Theatre, 96 E. Fourth St., Zumbrota

Cost: $25 in advance, $28 at the door

More info: 507-732-7616 or

Stacy Bengs-Silverberg

Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.

(651) 301-7880