Red Horse played William Paterson University

Shea Center for Performing Arts

March 13th, 2012
by Mr. C

Shea Center for the Performing Arts
300 Pompton Road Wayne,
NJ 07470-2103 (Map)


John Gorka,Eliza Gilkyson,Lucy Kaplansky – photo by chocko

photo by chocko

The folk trio of Lucy Kaplansky, John Gorka, and Eliza Gilkyson better known as Red Horse folked the freak out of NJ with their wonderful harmonies when they played at William Paterson University (Shea Center for Performing Arts) last Saturday. As Red Horse, each band member performed songs of their choice written by the other two artists as well as belting out a tune or two of their own original music along with other classics! While one sings, the other band members provided backup with their acoustic guitars & dynamic harmonies. As individual performers, they each have their own unique and magical sound. Lucy has a smooth, medium-high angelic voice tinted with a bit of country. Her impeccable rhythm on the guitar and piano scores add emotional layers to her songs of love and loss. What to say about John Gorka? When John speaks, he seems to be of the soft spoken , yet outgoing garden variety type with a speech flow that can sometimes be described as quirky. However, when Gorka opens his mouth to sing — wow!, out came a very rich, resonating voice with a knock’em out-sock’em out of the ball park baritone of goodness!
His guitar playing is also very smooth and precise as he works those frets like its his last. Eliza Gilkyson on the other hand has a soulful-eclectic vibe to her folk tunes that invoked emotions of unity, righteousness, love, & americana.

Her delivery really made her performances standout. I thought she really hit the nail on the cowboy coffin when she opened up with Neil Young’s, “I am a child”. Another one of my favorite depressing love tunes of the night was performed by Eliza when she sang Lucy Kaplansky’s – “Promise Me”. Her soulful-raspy version knocked my socks off and I felt I should of been lamenting the ballad with a swig of whiskey.

One of the more uplifting songs of the set and also one of Chocko’s favorite of the night was “Sanctuary” written by Gilkyson – performed beautifully by Lucy Kaplansky on the piano. It was a very inspirational piece! Thanks Lucy! Buggy, a Planet Chocko contributor from the past seemed like she was really enjoying the tunes of “Scorpion” by Kaplansky. We could tell because Buggy was playing the acoustic air guitar while mastering those seamless ghost chord transitions!

Red Horse performed all the songs from their self-titled album with a few goodies added to the list such as the catchy “Slouching towards Bethlehem” by Eliza Gilkyson, Lucy Kaplansky with her “Ten Year Night”, and John Gorka with “Down in Milltown” a song about his hometown of Bethlehem, PA. A rally cry of gospel filled the air thanking the Lord when Red Horse rode out into the Jersey night singing Curtis Mayfield’s – “People Get Ready.”

Individually, the Red Horse artists are amazing but, the collaboration of the three are truly something else. I enjoyed listening to the different renditions of the original songs which really made some of these old tunes seem new again almost invoking a different type of emotion and feel. If you get a chance to see any of these performers live, either solo or via this super-folk trio known as Red Horse – do it!

photo by chocko


Lucy Kaplansky
John Gorka
Eliza Gilkyson
Buy RED HORSE on Amazon!