Gorka is folk singer/song writer born in New Jersey. He has been
playing since the 70s. Other artists, such as Mary Chapin Carpenter,
Mary Black, and Maura O’Connell, have recorded or performed his
songs. He has shared tours with the likes of Mary Chapin Carpenter
and Nancy Griffith.
This is one of several new Blu-rays from AIX Records, well known
for their option-packed hi-res music DVDs. The music on this album
is more traditional folk, than pop folk. The five musicians are
sitting in a semi-circle with the piano behind and to the right
side of the band. The sound is offered in three mixes. The first
is stage perspective Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The second is audience
perspective Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The third is PCM 96/24 stereo. The
recording was made in 96/24 bits. The concert is shot in 1920
x 1080i HD. All the songs are written by John Gorka, except Snow
Don’t Fall by Townes Van Zandt.
concert has a very intimate feeling. All three sound track options
are very good. I think I have a slight preference for the audience
perspective track. The video is also excellent. There is not quite
as much crispness and color saturation as the very best HD pictures.
This is probably due to the lighting for the concert. More soft
frontal lighting would have probably helped. The sound is crisp
and well-placed. AIX resists the urge to place the musicians all
around you. The musicians are top rate and the balance between
them is spot on. I am however nit-picking on both audio and video.
This is one of the best combinations of audio and video that I
have seen on a concert disc. Very few Blu-ray concert discs have
this good of combination of quality. The video is definitely better
than their plain DVD releases. There are also three bonus tracks
on the disc. There is a behind-the-scenes video, an interview
with John Gorka, and a track from a 2006 concert at McCabe’s.
This is a very good start for AIXs Blu-ray production. I think
folk and singer/song writer fans will love this album. I am looking
forward to more albums like this. It’s a disc that I will share
with my friends.
I feel that I should inform readers that I am fairly hard in my
ratings for audio, video and music. I will only give five stars
for near perfection. If I can image the sound being better in
any meaningful way, it doesn’t get five stars. If it is not among
the best looking pictures I have seen, no five stars. For five
stars for music an album must have a number of memorable songs
and no filler songs. Most pop albums have mostly filler songs
on them. No more than several hundred albums have ever made this
quality of music. And many of these are greatest hits albums or
Out, Stranger With Your Hair, Let Them In, Mean Streak, Flying
Red Horse, ?Snow Don’t Fall, When She Kisses Me, Mercy of the
Wheels, I’m From New Jersey, Italian Girls, Writing in the Margins,
Love is Our Cross to Bear, Houses in the Fields, Land of the Bottom
Line, Always, Road of Good Intentions, Blue Chalk, Lightning’s
Blues, The Gypsy Life