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.
In 2009, Gorka toured in the USA and also in Ireland and the Netherlands. In October that year, Red House Records released the CD "So Dark You See". This is considered a more intimate, vocal and guitar-centered record than the last two albums.
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