John Gorka is from New Jersey. “It’s like Ohio but only more so. Imagine that,” he sings. He studied Philosophy and History at Moravian College but graduated magna cum laude from Godfrey Daniels coffeehouse in Bethlehem, PA with a PhD in Folk music. (Class of 1980.) Wry, witty, sly and self-effacing, Gorka’s gifts have taken him from NJ and PA through NYC, around the world, to Minnesota

As were his late, great professorial predecessors Pete Seeger, Dave Von
Ronk and Richie Havens, John Gorka is a compelling singer-songwriter, storyteller,


and a performer best seen, heard, andexperienced live. He appears honestly bewildered by his success, and he might get uncomfortable being likened to Arlo Guthrie, John Prine, Chip Taylor or contemporaries Steve Earle, Stevie Coyle and Steve Poltz.

SubCulture’s uncluttered space and clean sound allowed John to reach out and touch this audience immediately, simply, intimately. He bravely requested and gamely honored requests including “Night Is A Woman” on piano for Champagne Pam. “I Saw A Stranger with Your Hair” romantically related seeing features of the girl who stole his missing heart in others and angels. “Italian Girls” extolled their dream-filling worldly delights, “espresso mornings and lasagna nights.” On his encore re-entry? “

John Gorka leaped out loud! That’s a good one,” he laughed.

Like Chaplin films, Gorka songs are unique, original, deeply personal; many are humorous yet tender, touching, poignant; each delivered masterfully, passionately, authentically. On “Morningside” he sang about precious time and not wanting to “waste what I have to give.” He needn’t worry. He’s investing his talents wisely. Spend some time and money seeing John Gorka. The payoff is priceless!

- Dennis McDonough


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