John Gorka – Playlist

Land of the Bottom Line - John Gorka

John Gorka

From his website biography

From New Jersey, John Gorka is a world-renowned singer-songwriter who got his start at a neighborhood coffeehouse in eastern Pennsylvania. Though small, Godfrey Daniels was and is one of the oldest and most venerable music institutions and has long been a hangout for music lovers and aspiring musicians.

In the late 1970’s, John was one of these aspiring musicians. Although his academic coursework at Moravian College lay in Philosophy and History, music began to offer paramount enticements. Soon he found himself living in the club’s basement and acting as resident MC 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 Hardy’s legendary Fast Folk circle (a breeding ground for many a major singer-songwriter) 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 songwriting began turning heads.

Those who had at one time inspired him – Suzanne Vega, Bill Morrissey, Nanci Griffith, Christine Lavin, Shawn Colvin – had become his peers. Read More

I first started listening to the music of John Gorka a little after the release of Legacy: A Collection of New Folk Music. From Wikipedia

Legacy: A Collection of New Folk Music and Legacy II: A Collection of Singer-songwriters are a pair of compilations that were released by Windham Hill Records in 1989 and 1992 respectively to introduce listeners to a new crop of young singer-songwriters. Read More

The two main artist whose music I first heard on this CD were John Gorka and Bill Morrissey. They each had one track on the album. Gorka’s was “I saw a Stranger with Your Hair”. From Wikipedia……

….Years later John Gorka recalled these events: “Windham Hill decided to include one of my songs on the first Legacy songwriters compilation. Before it was even released, Will Ackerman called to say that they would like me to record for them. Land of the Bottom Line came out shortly thereafter….

All in All, Gorka recorded five albums with Will Ackerman’s High Street Records. Over the next seven years: Land of the Bottom Line, Jack’s Crows, Temporary Road, Out of the Valley and Between Five and Seven.

Since returning to Red House Records in 1998, John has released seven more albums. Most of those albums are in my music library. The following are the John Gorka albums in my music library. The tracks that are in bold appear on the playlist.

John Gorka Albums in My Music Library –

Bright Side of Down, Red House Records, 2014
So Dark You See, Red House Records, 2009
Writing in the Margins, Red House Records, 2006
Old Futures Gone, Red House Records, 2003
The Company You Keep, Red House Records, 2001
Out of the Valley, High Street Records, 1994
Temporary Road, High Street Records, 1992
Land of the Bottom Line, Windham Hill Records, 1990
I Know, Red House Records, 1987

Links for the Further Explorations of the Music of John Gorka

Artist Website