DVD Spotlight.. .......................................

John Gorka, "The Gypsy Life" (AIX)
( 3 stars )

February 10, 2008
By Kevin O'Hare


The deep, warm, resonant voice of John Gorka remains his strongest trait, a mellifluous instrument that has carried him along his musical career.

It is in prominent focus on this recent CD/DVD which was recorded before an intimate gathering in Los Angeles in December 2006. The singer/songwriter delivers material from throughout his career, including such exceptional fare as "Love is Our Cross the Bear," the anti-war "Road of Good Intentions," the forever amusing "Italian Girls," and even a tasty cover of Townes Van Zandt's "Snow Don't Fall."

Gorka is accompanied by a fine band, featuring Susan Werner, Russ Rentler, Amilia K. Spicer and Michael Manring. If there's a bone to pick at all about the DVD is that despite all the bells and whistles and souped-up sound quality, it's not the easiest DVD to navigate. There are two discs here, and one or both may work on your particular player. But there are several noticeable omissions from the packaging most notably the fact that the DVD includes several of Gorka's exceptional music videos including "Houses in the Fields," and what may be his ultimate classic, "I Don't Feel Like Train."

It's an ambitious package, far beyond most standard DVDs and the sound is pristine. All in all, a little confusing, but it's the performance that is well worth the price of admission.

Rating Scale: One Star (poor) to Five Stars (a classic)