John Gorka
Saturday, January 17, 2015, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)

"one of contemporary folk music’s leading talents”

$26 door / $28 door

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January 17 8:00 pm

John GorkaJohn Gorka grabs you with his voice and holds you with his words. He has a stunningly soulful baritone and a sensibility that combines great playfulness with a remarkable depth of feeling. When he sings someone else’s song – Dylan’s “Girl of the North Country,” for instance – he molds it to the contours of his own musical vision. His originals are clever, but not just clever. They cut to the bone. In “I Saw a Stranger with Your Hair,” he asks, “By the way / how is my heart? / I haven’t seen it / since you left.”


John got his musical start at Godfrey Daniels, a coffee house in eastern Pennsylvania, where he did sound for artists like Tom Paxton and Stan Rogers, and then began performing his own songs. He won the New Folk Award at the Kerrville Folk Festival in 1984 and released his first album in 1987. In 1991, Rolling Stone called him “the preeminent male singer-songwriter of what has been dubbed the New Folk Movement.” He’s recorded 12 solo albums and worked with such artists as Nancy Griffith, Patty Larkin, Ani DiFranco, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. In 2010, he collaborated with Lucy Kaplansky and Elyza Gilkyson on a terrific album called Red Horse, and this past year he released a wonderful new solo album, his first in four years, Bright Side of Down, which the Associated Press praises for its “wry, slice-of-life observations reminiscent of Lyle Lovett and John Prine.” He currently lives outside St. Paul, Minnesota, but now and then he comes out West, and when he does, he makes music you won’t want to miss.


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