TMR, By Jeff Burger Contributor
I haven't heard all of the 15 albums that John
Gorka has released since he debuted in 1987, but this atmospheric
CD strikes me as probably the best of the half dozen or so I own.
The introspective, deftly constructed lyrics are poetic and substantive,
and Gorka couples his fine, intimate baritone to spare, effective
instrumentation, most notably by Joe Savage on pedal steel and
national steel guitars.
album mixes plaintive and profound folk ballads like "Blues with
a Rising Sun" and the title cut with the occasional country-tinged
up-tempo song like "Nazarene Guitar" and such amiable silliness
as "The Body Parts Melody." Red House Records labelmates Eliza
Gilkyson and Lucy Kaplansky add harmony vocals on two tracks.
True in Time feels carefully constructed, with every note and
word in its proper place, yet it manages to sound natural and
even rather spontaneous, perhaps because it was recorded mostly
live in the studio, with few overdubs. This is a quiet, understated
album that will pull you in on the strength of Gorka's verse,
voice, and melodies.