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John Gorka


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John Gorka (born in July 1958) is an American contemporary folk musician. In 1991, Rolling Stone magazine called him “the pre-eminent male singer-songwriter of what has been dubbed the New Folk Movement.

Gorka was born in Edison, New Jersey. He received his first guitar as a Christmas gift, though Gorka alleges that his older brother stole it from him shortly thereafter. He eventually learned, instead, to play the banjo, and began performing in a folk music group at his church.

Gorka attended Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and joined the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band which would also include guitarist Richard Shindell. He later began performing solo at the Godfrey Daniels coffee house as the opening act for various musicians that toured there. These included Nanci Griffith, Bill Morrissey, Claudia Schmidt and Jack Hardy.

In 1984, Gorka took first place at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Since then he has toured with artists such as Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Michael Manring, Christine Lavin, Dave Van Ronk, Cliff Eberhardt, David Massengill, Frank Christian and Lucy Kaplansky.

As of 2005, he was residing in the St. Croix Valley area near Saint Paul, Minnesota.

In 2008, Gorka decided to return to Europe for the first time in fourteen years. In October that year, he played four times in the Netherlands, he played live on VPRO radio and he did a session for the John Gorka video site.


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  • Wild_Coast

    Night Into Day - amazing song!

    29 Nov 2013 Reply
  • muziksnb

    Add shout

    28 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Ruminator

    John has a wonderful baritone voice and his material is top shelf.

    16 Mar 2013 Reply
  • solamystic

    well... I just saw another

    7 Jun 2011 Reply
  • tjpc74

    There's a quality about John's work that is hard to resist, I seem to be able to listen to any of his songs anytime and always find them enjoyable!

    13 Mar 2011 Reply
  • washoe13

    he's a awesome! congratulations from Uruguay!

    4 Oct 2010 Reply
  • katchya

    John, you are the greatest.

    24 Feb 2010 Reply
  • evillager

    i <3 you, gorka. always have.

    17 Jun 2009 Reply
  • musicdish <-- bringing you the latest news on great independent music!

    11 Mar 2009 Reply
  • jln3681

    it's like ohio, even more so... what does that even MEAN?!?!?!

    21 Apr 2008 Reply
  • battue

    Love the track the Gypsy Life My uncle passed away a few years ago and I took a lot of his collection, he was working in a library somewhere in the East coast USA and he must have picked up the album Temporary road when he was there, I gave it a spin and that track grabbed me, the lyrics are great and the vocals and Harmonies

    21 Oct 2007 Reply

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