JOHN GORKA / Amilia K Spicer
From New Jersey, John Gorka is a world-renowned singer-songwriter who got his start at a neighborhood coffeehouse in eastern Pennsylvania (Godfrey Daniels) in the late 1970s, where he served as resident emcee and sound man, encountering legendary folk troubadours like Canadian singer-songwriter Stan Rogers, Eric Andersen, Tom Paxton and Claudia Schmidt. Their brand of folk-inspired acoustic music inspired him, and before long he was performing his own songs mostly as an opener for visiting acts. Soon he started traveling to New York City, where Jack Hardys legendary Fast Folk circle became a powerful source of education and encouragement. Folk meccas like Texas Kerrville Folk Festival (where he won the New Folk Award in 1984) and Boston followed, and his stunningly soulful baritone voice and original songs began turning heads. His first album, I Know (Red House Records) was released in 1987 to popular and critical acclaim, followed by five albums in seven years on Windham Hill's High Street Records. Touring heavily during those years, his rich multifaceted songs full of depth, beauty and emotion gained increasing attention from critics and audiences across the U.S. as well as in Europe. He also started sharing tours with many notable friendsNanci Griffith and Mary Chapin Carpenter among them.
In addition to his 11 critically acclaimed albums, John released a collectors edition box featuring a hi-definition DVD and companion CD called The Gypsy Life. Windham Hill also released a collection of Johns greatest hits from the label called Pure John Gorka. In 2010, he also released an album with his friends and Red House label-mates Lucy Kaplansky and Eliza Gilkyson under the name Red Horse. Getting high praise from critics and fans alike, it landed on the Billboard Folk Charts and was one of the most played albums on folk radio.
Many well known artists have recorded and/or performed John Gorka songs, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Mary Black and Maura OConnell. John has graced the stage of Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, etown and has appeared on CNN. His new song Where No Monuments Stand is featured in the upcoming documentary Every War Has Two Losers, about activist and Oregon Poet Laureate William Stafford (1914-1993).
Full details at www.madfolk.org
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