red tulips | copyright Jill J. Jensen

 

 

John Gorka

a quirky musician with a wry sense of humor and wonderful songs

 

John Gorka says he creates folk music. If that means funny, sharp, and memorable lyrics, as well as tunes that stick in your head, he's right. And he's very, very good at it.

As a singer-songwriter with a 15-year career, Gorka's bountiful body of work slides under your skin and won't leave you alone. His music asks you to think but also lets you have a great time.

Gorka's voice gets richer and more expressive every year while his sensibility stays sharp. His songs use deft poetry and interesting melodies to comment on the challenges of life, love, family, culture, and the state of the world. A knowing smile hides beneath witty lyrics and solo acoustic guitar riffs.

By making fun of himself and his penchant for trenchant commentary, Gorka invites you to watch this "angry young man" grow older but no less willing to settle for anything, as he makes you grin and enjoy it. Whether it's the story of the Flying Red Horse, Houses in the Fields, The Land of the Bottom Line, or any of the other memorable songs packed into his repertoire, you'll find a wise comment that makes you smile and holds your heart.

While Gorka's CDs are great, if you haven't seen him in performance, make the trip. In concert, you're treated to his self-deprecating humor — look forward to I'm From New Jersey and a host of other songs — and the dichotomy he faces trying to be a performer who "puts on a good show" while not being as slick as the typical packaged entertainment from the mega-media outlets. He has just enough bend in his approach to provoke grins and laughs whether you're in the audience for the umpteenth time or the first. Given that he generally receives a standing ovation after a performance and often returns to the stage to share even more, Gorka manages to be both a crowd-pleaser and a great musician.


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