Marine on St. Croix 'will be scary fun'
MARINE ON ST. CROIX - Folk singer/guitarist John Gorka has played music all over the world, from Minnesota to Rhode Island and Canada to Amsterdam.
Playing in a space near his home, though, brings its own set of challenges.
"It is very different in my mind to play so close to home," Gorka said. "I'm usually the visitor who is only passing through. It will be scary fun."
He figures to be up to the challenge when he performs in Marine on St. Croix this weekend.
While a student at Moravian College, near Bethlehem, Pa., Gorka got his start in the late 1970s at the Godfrey Daniels coffee house/listening room. At first working as an emcee and soundman, Gorka began performing as the opening act.
From there, his career took off as he began performing in New York City with Jack Hardy's Fast Folk circle, at the Kerrville Folk Festival and at other folk festivals. He has performed on the PBS TV show "Austin City Limits," appeared alongside artists such as Mary Chapin Carpenter and Maura O'Connell and, in 1987, caught the attention of Minnesota-based Red House Records, with whom he has written, recorded and released more than six CDs.
In 1991, according to his Website, Rolling Stone magazine called him "the preeminent male singer-songwriter of the new folk movement."
"I love to write songs and play them for people," Gorka said. "I feel fortunate to have an audience and I don't mind ranging far and wide to keep in touch with them. I get paid to do what I love."
He has as much inspiration to write and perform these days as he has ever had. "I'm an older guy now and I'm a dad so I can write from that perspective," Gorka said. "I used to think of myself as a kind of outsider, but not anymore."
Gorka has lived in the Marine area for more than 10 years and says he is quite fond of the city.
"It has a lot of character and a lot of interesting people live there," Gorka said.
Gorka isn't certain how many times he's actually played at the Marine Village Hall, though.
"I think it is four or five," Gorka said."I did one show to help raise money for a new roof for the Town Hall and the last few have been with the Marine Fire & Rescue people."
Regardless, his concert likely won't be a carbon copy of any of his previous concerts. That isn't his style.
"I don't usually have a set list," Gorka said. "I try to play songs that are right for the moment. I'm pretty sure it will be a mix of old and newer songs. I will probably do some requests. I will have some 50 to 60 songs ready to play but I won't do more than 18 or 20."
For more information, access www.johngorka.com. The site has available for sale 10 of Gorka's 13 published CDs.