John Gorka mines success with
Published June 28, 2013...........humor and heart.
By ED CONDRAN Correspondent

Some wit and a good sense of humor can go a long way for a singer-songwriter.

John Gorka has been a clever, amusing songsmith since he emerged from New Jersey in the late-1980s with his terrific 1987 debut “I Know.”

He has consistently crafted smile-inducing, catchy folk music and is an entertaining and sometimes-hilarious live entertainer, who is adept at connecting with the crowd.

“I remember being told that you should take your work seriously but to not take yourself so seriously,” Gorka says. “There’s a lot of people out there that take themselves way too seriously.

“I always liked singers who displayed a sense of humor in song and during their shows. It’s good to have humor in anything. Life is too short to go the other way.

” Gorka, who will perform Saturday at the Bryn Mawr Gazebo, is revered among folkies, but he hasn’t received enough credit or attention.

He garnered significant play courtesy of the terrific single “When She Kisses Me,” which dropped in 1993, but he has lacked acclaim overall.


“Why worry about things that you can’t control?” Gorka says. “All I can control is what I write and record. What I do with that is just work as hard as I can. The more I work, the better I get and that’s what matters most.

“The great thing about music is that spark can come from just about anywhere. You have to pay attention and hone your skills as a songwriter. Go with what you feel strongest about. That’s why some of the greatest songs ever written are love songs. When someone feels that strongly about something, you have a great song come from that.

Gorka, who attended Moravian College in Bethlehem a generation ago, learned a great deal about his craft by playing and often opening at the Bethlehem-based Godfrey Daniels club. He opened for artists such as the late Bill Morrissey, Claudia Schmidt and Nanci Griffith.

“Whenever I come back into that area, I think about those days when I played there and I learned from some of the best in the business,” he says. “I was fortunate enough to meet and see these singer-songwriters perform. I tried to keep an eye and ear open so I could learn something and add it to what I do.”

John Gorka co-headlines with Lucy Kaplansky Saturday at the Bryn Mawr Gazebo, 9 S. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr. Show times: 7 and 10 p.m. Ticket: $12. Information: 610-864-4303.

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