I truly believe, John, that ďTrue In TimeĒ is the best album youíve
It struck me on many levels. A highly emotive album, I found myself
moved on more than one occasion, and thank God for ďThe Body Parts Medley,Ē
because that kind of lightened things up wonderfully.
Gorka: Yeah, you needed something
like that in there Ö and it seemed appropriate for the first time in
its silly life.
Q: It was that dry wit and left-of-center
humor that really catches your attention, though you did spend a lot
of time on the ďbutt,Ē I must admit (laughter).
Gorka: (Laughter) I know, it kind
of got hijacked ó itís like a kidsí song gone horribly wrong.
Q: Well, I do hope that you end
up doing that in your show at Johnson Hall.
Gorka: Iíll give it a go!
Q: Now, you have performed there
Q: And it was probably for one of
those shows that I last interviewed you. Now when did ĒTrue In TimeĒ
come out, just out of curiosity?
Gorka: It came out in January of
2018 ó almost two years ago.
Are you working on something new?
Gorka: Yeah, Iím working on songs
Ö and thatís why Iím cleaning the studio area so I can actually put
CONCERT INFO JOHN GORKA
Saturday, Feb. 8
VENUE: Johnson Hall
ADDRESS: 280 Water St., Gardiner
WEBSITES: johngorka.com, johnsonhall.org.
Is your muse friendly, or do you have to throw in a choke hold
to get results?
Gorka: Well, Iím going to
take care of the songs that are already in existence and take
care of myself so that I can actually write new things. Thatís
kind of been the priority: being more healthy and doing more shows.
I have two kids in college, now so making new records is not as
big a priority as it used to be. I still love writing songs and
Iíve got things in the works ó songs keep coming and thatís been
a nice thing ó but the songs from this record have kept calling
me, too, so I donít want to treat them badly (chuckle) if theyíre
still calling me to sing.
Do you find that they change over time?
Gorka: They evolve over time,
yes. Sometimes there are little things that change, especially
when Iím playing by myself, which is most of the time. This record
was recorded mostly as an ensemble so that changes songs a little
bit, tempos change a little bit, as well. I think of songs as
living things and I try to be a good shepherd.
Now, you will be coming to Johnson Hall as a solo act,
Gorka: Yes. Q: Do you do any
touring with an ensemble? Gorka: Iíve played some with Michael
Manring, and Iíve also played with Russ Rentler from the Razzy
Dazzy Spasm Band (a group that Rentler, Doug Anderson and Gorka
formed in 1976) ó weíve done some shows together ó but most of
the time is by myself.
What can folks expect from your return to Gardiner?
Gorka: Itíll be a mixture
of the old and new. I donít go into the set list; I generally
start off with some introductory songs for the people who havenít
seen me before ó Iíve been doing that for a few years now. I asked,
five or so years ago, how many people had not seen me play live
before, and I was surprised at how many hands went up. Ö I donít
want to treat those people as if theyíd been following me. They
may have heard my name or heard or bought the records, but not
seen a live show ó and thatís kind of what I base everything on
is the songs in the live show. So, I try to bring them in so that
they feel as welcome as the people whoíve come to see me before
ó I call them Ďthe returners,í so itís Ďthe new peopleí and Ďthe
Now, I know that you play guitar, but you also do keyboards,
as well. Do you bring both on the road with you when you tour?
Gorka: I have my guitar, but
I also ask that they have a piano at the venue where Iíll be performing.
How long have you been doing this?
Gorka: My last job was in May of
í86, so itís coming up on 34 years, I guess ó longer than I hadnít done
it (chuckle), longer than Iíve done anything else.
Did you ever think back then that this career choice would
have that kind of legs?
Gorka: No, I didnít know if it would
be possible to do this, but I figured Iíd give it a go. Fortunately,
things worked out that I was able to do it and people still keep coming
Ö thatís keeping me going.
John, is there anything that youíd like me to pass on to the folks reading
Gorka: Oh, that Iím looking forward
to coming back to Maine. People have been so kind to me there. I donít
know if itís because there are so many people from New Jersey who are
living there now or what, but theyíve always make me feel right at home.
Clark has spent over 50 years writing about good music and the people
who make it. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.
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