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John Gorka!

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  • eighthstep@aol.com
    NEW FOLK SONGWRITER JOHN GORKA RETURNS TO EIGHTH STEP Popular baritone represents best of contemporary folk genre- honors roots firmly planted in folk
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 24, 2003

      Popular baritone represents best of contemporary folk genre- honors roots
      firmly planted in folk community

      Singer-songwriter-guitarist-pianist JOHN GORKA, regarded as "the pre-eminent
      male singer-songwriter of the New Folk Movement" (Rolling Stone) returns for
      an EIGHTH STEP concert at 8 PM, FRIDAY, MARCH 7, 2003, THE EIGHTH STEP at ST
      ROSE/St Joseph Hall, 985 Madison Street, Albany.

      “Listening to John Gorka sing, one can get goosebumps all over. There are
      many reasons- fresh lyrics, a stunning, emotional baritone voice, his twisted
      humor…” -The New York Times

      “He weaves wry, slice-of-life observations reminiscent of Lyle Lovell and
      John Prine.” -Associated Press

      Gorka’s last two albums were released on Red House Records, marking a return
      to the label that issued his critically acclaimed, career-launching debut
      album I Know in 1987. Between then and now Gorka recorded several albums on
      Windham Hill’s High Street record label. He's also appeared annually at The
      Eighth Step beginning in the original downstairs coffeehouse and moving
      upstairs, then to Cohoes Music Hall, and even to Page Hall for "On A Winter's
      Night" (co-produced with Caffe Lena as 'The Step Caffe'). See more
      information below , or go to www.johngorka.com.

      Doors open at 7 pm; College of St Rose is wheelchair accessible & smoke-free;
      our kitchens serve the region’s finest gourmet desserts and beverages. For
      travel directions or to call in advance for assistance entering the building,
      call (518) 434-1703, or contact The Eighth Step through www.eighthstep.com.

      Tickets are $17, with Visa or MasterCard at the TicketLine at (518) 434-1703,
      or online at www.eighthstep.com; also by cash or check at Eighth Step Ticket
      Outlets: in Albany-Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, or Honest Weight Food
      Co-op (Central Ave); Schenectady- The Open Door (Jay St); Troy- The Music
      Shack (River St); Clifton Park- The GreenGrocer (Halfmoon Plaza, Rte 9);
      Saratoga- Celtic Treasures (Broadway).


      Godfrey Daniels is one of the oldest and most venerable music institutions in
      eastern Pennsylvania. A small neighborhood coffeehouse and listening room, it
      has long been a hangout for music lovers and aspiring musicians, and in the
      late 1970s, one of these was young Moravian College student JOHN GORKA.

      Though his academic course work lay in Philosophy and History, he found music
      infinitely more enticing. Soon he found himself living in the club's basement
      and acting as resident emcee and soundman, encountering legendary folk
      troubadors like Canadian singer/songwriter Stan Rogers, Eric Andersen, Tom
      Paxton and Claudia Schmidt. Their brand of folk-inspired acoustic music moved
      and intrigued him; before long he was performing his own songs, mostly as an
      opener for visiting acts.

      Soon Gorka began 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. Then he hit folk
      meccas like Texas' Kerrville Folk Festival (he took the New Folk Award in
      1984) and Boston, his stunningly soulful baritone voice and emerging
      songwriting beginning to turn heads in earnest. Those who had at one time
      inspired him -- Suzanne Vega, Bill Morrissey, Nanci Griffith, Christine
      Lavin, Shawn Colvin -- had become his peers.

      In 1987, the young Minnesota-based Red House Records caught wind of John's
      talents and released his first album I Know to popular and critical
      acclaim. With unusual drive and focus, John hit the ground running. When an
      offer came from Windham Hill's Will Ackerman in 1989, he signed with that
      label's inprint, High Street Records. He recorded five albums with High
      Street over the next seven years: Land of the Bottom Line, Jack's Crows,
      Temporary Road, Out of the Valley, and Between Five and Seven. His albums and
      his touring (over 150 nights a year at times) brought new accolades for his
      craft. Rolling Stone called him "the preeminent male singer/songwriter of the
      new folk movement." His rich multi-faceted songs full of depth, beauty and
      emotion gained increasing attention from critics and audiences across the
      country, as well as in Europe where his tours led him through Italy, Belgium,
      Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Switzerland and Germany.

      Other performers also discovered his songwriting. His material is championed
      by many -- to date more than a score of artists have recorded and/or
      performed John Gorka songs, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Mary Black and
      Maura O'Connell. He also started sharing tours with many notable friends --
      Nanci Griffith and Mary Chapin Carpenter among them-- introducing his music
      to an ever-widening audience. His video for the single "When She Kisses Me"
      found long-term rotation on VH-1's "Current Country" as well as on CMT and
      the Nashville Network. John also graced the stage of Austin City Limits,
      appeared on CNN, and has been the subject of other national programming.

      Finally in 1998, after five successful recordings and seven years at Windham
      Hill/High Street, John returned to his musical roots at Red House Records.
      The choice was driven, in part, by the artistic integrity represented by Red
      House in an industry increasingly obsessed with the business of music. As
      Gorka puts it, "Red House is in it first for the music, and so am I. It's a
      good place to be."

      After Yesterday represented the first fruits of that reunion and reflects
      John's continuing commitment to the craft of songwriting. Its twelve songs
      encompass John's trademark twist of lyric and attention to the details that
      so effectively evoke a time, a place, a person, or a range of emotion. But
      there are also the stirrings of new musical directions, notably the evocative
      addition of percussion from Ani DiFranco's drummer Andy Stochansky. Gorka
      also shared his joy at recent changes in his life (namely a 1996 marriage and
      move to Minnesota, followed by the 1997 birth of a baby boy -- Bocephus
      Mahatma Sinatra Gorka) with cuts such as "Cypress Trees," "After Yesterday"
      and "When He Cries." He voices a more hardened knowledge in "Thorny Patch"
      and "Wisdom." Story songs and character studies, "Amber Lee," "Silvertown"
      and "Zuly" engage the imagination, while "Heroes" provokes introspection.

      Though a long way from Godfrey Daniels, John Gorka is still honored to be a
      part of the folk tradition -- energetic acoustic music, not trend nor fad,
      but a reach for transcendent expression of everyday life. After Yesterday
      embodies that expression -- another classic release where his rich baritone
      voice and unique songcraft weave together in a way that is uniquely "Gorka."

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