From John Gorka Greetings from the snowy North
to You, I write this on the last day of the shortest month. There
was snow over night but it's been a fairly mild winter here in
Minnesota. As a traveller it's been a good start to the year,
so far playing in 7 states with 14 more to go in the next 2 months.
I've been pretty lucky just missing torrential rains in Southern
California and snow storms in Pennsylvania. I did get caught in
a blizzard in November in northern Minnesota, though. I made it
to Nisswa, but the show was cancelled when the power went out
in town. It's been rescheduled for March 10. I made it to the
30A Songwriter Festival in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida in January
where the temperatures were in the '70s, warmer than the first
time I was there. I drove through the mountains in south eastern
Oklahoma which is apparently Bigfoot country, near Broken Bow.
I had no sightings but it looked like a nice place for smaller
feet as well..
other news I'm hoping to record an album of new material this
summer with a release date in the early part of next year. I am
happiest when I'm in the middle of a song and I've got a few of
them in the works.
be returning to Eliza Gilkyson's Casa de Musica Songwriter Workshop
June 15-18 inTaos, New Mexico. As of this writing there are a
few spaces still available. Here
is a link
is where I'll be in the next couple of months. I hope it is somewhere
My Canadian friend Rose's new record Natural Conclusion is getting
a lot of well deserved attention. She is touring with her band
and I look forward to sharing the stage with her next week at
The Dakota in Minneapolis.
It looks like I made the Top Artists of 2016 on the Folk DJ List
for this past year. A big thanks to the Folk DJs! As compiled
by Richard Gillmann from FOLKDJ-L playlists: http://folkradio.org/
you can tell by the photo from my new record cover above, I have
gotten a lot younger and more intense lately.
November of 1985 I made my first record, but it never came out…until
now. At Nanci Griffith's suggestion, I contacted Nashville-based
producer Jim Rooney. I loved the sound of Nanci's Once in a Very
Blue Moon record, which he had produced, and was excited at the
prospect of working with him. We had a very productive session,
recording 10 songs in 5 days, featuring stellar players that Jim
brought in, including
Duncan on fiddle and mandolin, Kenny Malone on drums, and Dave
Pomeroy on bass. Lucy Kaplansky and Shawn Colvin accepted my invitation
to sing on the record, coming down from New York City for the
session, and guitarist Mike Dugan made the trip from Bethlehem,
did I not release it at the time? I can only say that I was still
finding my way. I'm glad to share these recordings with you now.
You may be familiar with the songs (9 out of 10 were later re-recorded
and released on my first record, 'I Know,' with Red House Records),
but these previously unreleased recordings from the Nashville
session offer a different musical slant on the songs, reflecting
the energy of a group of musicians and singers playing together
at the same time in one room. When I recently listened to these
old recordings, I liked what I heard, and I thought you might
like to hear them, too.
on July 22, it's titled 'Before Beginning: The Unreleased 'I Know,'
(Nashville 1985). It's available now from Red House Records and
signed copies will be available on my website at http://johngorka.com/
very soon. Aside from time in the studio with Rob Genadek getting
the new record ready for release, the summer has been filled with
touring and working on new songs.
tuned to the Red House Records website for a free download of
a new song called "Five
Letter Word" which you might describe as 'in season.'
Check out the list of upcoming shows through October. Hope to
see you out there!
Summer into Fall
4, 2016 The Mainstay - Rock Hall, MD Aug
5, 2016 Towne Crier Cafe - Beacon, NY Aug
6, 2016 Guthrie Center - Great Barrington, MA Aug
13, 2016 Old Wadena Rendezvous & Folklife Festival - Wadena, MN Aug
19, 2016 Cafe Carpe - Ft. Atkinson, WI Aug
20, 2016 Live Radio Broadcast - Chicago, IL Aug
27, 2016 Great River Folk Festival - La Crosse, WI Aug
28, 2016 Great River Folk Festival - La Crosse, WI
Sep 10, 2016 First Unitarian Church - Des Moines, IA Sep
16, 2016 Rubin Museum of Art - New York, NY Sep
18, 2016 The Turning Point - Piermont, NY
Sep 23, 2016 Opera House at Boothbay Harbor - Boothbay Harbor,
24, 2016 Apple Festival - Alfred, ME Oct
2, 2016 Minnesota State University - Mankato, MN Oct
20, 2016 Private Event - Denver, CO Oct
21, 2016 Swallow Hill Music Hall - Denver, CO
22, 2016 Midtown Arts Center, Theatre ONE - Fort Collins, CO
Oct 23, 2016 Steve's Guitars - Carbondale, CO
For a more complete list of upcoming shows
It's been a while since I've written to you! I hope your spring
is starting off well. We’ve had a pretty mild winter here in Minnesota,
so I’ve been able to get out on my bike in the month of March,
which is a pleasantly early beginning to the riding season.
in recent months have included a February trip to The Netherlands,
which included a show in The Hague in honor of my good friend
Willem Leeuwenhoek, who sadly passed away in November of 2014.
The little G# electric guitar that you may have heard me play
at shows was a gift from Willem, who was beloved by many and is
greatly missed. Those who knew him would agree that Willem approached
life as an art. The trip itself was a pleasure, as I was hosted
by Willem’s family and the family of Peter ter Horst. I also got
to reconnect with my friend Jos Van Vliet, who started a video
site featuring many of the interviews and performances I’ve done
through the years. Here’s a link to the site he created, which
includes video of the
recent show at The Hague: http://www.johngorka.nl/
Jos also took the photo above.
Later in February, I appreciated the chance to do two
Yarrow in South Orange, NJ and Port Washington, NY. We
shared the stage and sang together on a number of songs
including Peter, Paul & Mary's versions of “If I Had
a Hammer,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” and “Five Hundred Miles”.It
was really an honor. Photo:
found out how funny he can be, and was also impressed again by
his continuing activism for many good causes in the world, such
as Operation Respect, a youth anti-bullying campaign.
the March trips was a visit back to my old stomping grounds
in Bethlehem, PA for a couple of shows celebrating the 40th
Anniversary of Godfrey Daniels. I got to see many of my old
friends, who, like me, have not aged a bit /s. Congratulations
to Godfreys, one of the longest running live music coffeehouses
looking ahead to shows out west, starting with a show tomorrow,
Friday, April 1 at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley,
CA. I’m happy to say that Michael Manring will be joining
me, one of the most innovative bass players anywhere. (No
spring shows will take me to the northwest and the southeast
(see below for details), and to Taos for a reprise of the
La Casa de Musica, the songwriting workshop presented by Eliza
the personal front, let me just say that I have new appreciation
for any parent who has navigated the college application and financial
aid process! And let's hope we all make it through the November
best to you all, hope to see you at a show when I’m in your neighborhood
-- John Gorka.
Shows VENUE / LOCATION
1, 2016 Freight and Salvage Berkeley, CA - With Michael Manring!
2, 2016 Pilgrim Congregational Church Redding, CA Apr
3, 2016 Sutter Creek Theatre Sutter Creek, CA Apr
14, 2016 Flying Goose Brewpub, New London, NH Apr
15, 2016 Tupelo Music Hall, Londonderry, NH Apr
16, 2016 Common Fence Point Community Hall Portsmouth, RI Apr
17, 2016 The Long Island Museum Gillespie Room Stony Brook, NY
21, 2016 Eat, Drink Morso Gig Harbor, WA Apr
22, 2016 Alberta Rose Theatre Portland, OR Apr
23, 2016 Phinney Neighborhood Center Seattle, WA
12, 2016 BluSeed Studios at Saranac Village Saranac Lake, NY May
13, 2016 Eighth Step at Proctors Schenectady, NY May
14, 2016 Auburn Public Theater Auburn, NY May
15, 2016 Hugh's Room Toronto, Ontario May
19, 2016 Red & Shorty's Concert Series Dover , NH May
20, 2016 The Chocolate Church Bath, ME May
21, 2016 Homegrown Coffeehouse at First Parish Unitarian Church
Needham, MA May
22, 2016 City Winery, New York, NY
2, 2016 The Crimson Moon, Dahlonega, GA Jun
3, 2016 ISIS Restaurant and Music Hall Asheville, NC Jun
4, 2016 Red Clay Theatre Duluth, GA
For a more complete list of upcoming shows
Gorka Notes & Shows Through November
September 17, 2015
Baldwin's Station in Sykesville,
hope you're doing well. The leaves here are just starting
to turn, and I'm looking ahead to my next round of shows,
when it will officially be Fall. I'll kick off the new season
with a show at Baldwin's Station in Sykesville, Maryland.
If you haven't had a chance to see a show at this venue, I
hope you'll check it out. It's a restaurant in an old train
station with a stage in the corner; an intimate setting to
listen to music. I'll go on to shows in Pennsylvania and Ohio (see
details below and on
been a really nice summer. Songwriter workshops in New Mexico
and Utah went well. I found working with the other songwriters
to be very inspiring. Some people attending had never written
a song before, while others had been longtime writers and had
their own CDs. Teaching at these workshops challenged me to try
to find words for a process that has really always been more or
less intuitive. My main hope was to offer something of value for
each of the participants from some of what has worked for me.
I can say there were plenty of good songs that came of these workshops,
and it was a privilege to be a part of them. I'll be returning
to Eliza Gilkyson's Casa de Musica workshop in Taos, NM next June.
Casa de Musica Songwriter Workshop with Tyson Eastland, David
E. Clemmer, David Clauss, clay eastland, Gail Husson, John Mahon,
Randy Mulkey, Elaine Bergman, Rich Frasier, Michael Sackett, John
Gorka, Eliza Gilkyson, Terry Conlan, Stephen Scholle, Stephen
Scholle, Maddie Clemmer, Cisco Ryder Gilliland, Wendy Silk, Heather
Coryell, Gail Martin, William Anderson en Chick Morgan.
highlights of the summer were shows in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,
Folk Harbour Festival in Nova Scotia, The Kerriville Fall
the 50th Anniversary of The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI where
I shared the stage with Peter Yarrow, Vienna Teng and Robbie
Schaefer. I hope to be singing on Antje Duvekot's new record
on a song called "Half Light".
I was also invited to sing a duet with Honor Finnegan on
Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes' "Song of Bernadette"
for Honor's upcoming CD.".I'm
still putting the finishing touches on an old recording
that preceded "I
Know" featuring most of the songs from that debut record
with unreleased versions of those songs recorded in Nashville
in November 1985. The working title is "Before Beginning".
a bit farther ahead, my plans include a trip to Texas in
December and Holland in early February. One of the Holland
shows will be in honor of my dear friend, Willem
Leeuwenhoek, who we sadly lost last November and is
missed by all who knew him. <
Enjoy the fine days and all the rest. Hope to see you out there.
24, 2015 Baldwin's Station Sykesville,
25, 2015 Midtown Scholar Bookstore
Harrisburg, PA Sep
26, 2015 Songspace at First Unitarian
Pittsburgh, PA Sep
27, 2015 Beachland Ballroom Cleveland,
2, 2015 Me & Thee Coffeehouse
Oct 3, 2015 The Spire Center for Performing
Arts Plymouth, MA Oct
4, 2015 Iron Horse Northampton,
10, 2015 Arrowhead Center for the Arts
Grand Marais, MN
Oct 17, 2015 Platteville High School
Auditorium Platteville, WI
Oct 22, 2015 World Cafe Live
at The Queen Upstairs Wilmington, DE Oct
23, 2015 Peter Hall at Moravian College
Bethlehem, PA Oct
24, 2015 Unitarian Universalist Church
Titusville, NJ Nov
2, 2015 Lips Atrium in the Charlton
Building Rochester, MN Nov
6, 2015 C-U Folk and Roots Festival
Urbana, IL Nov
8, 2015 CSPS Cedar Rapids, IA Nov
13, 2015 Ashland Coffee & Tea Ashland,
15, 2015 Southport Senior Center
Nov 21, 2015 Cedar Cultural Center
was a sign in the window of a beauty shop that I passed on the
road last weekend in Upstate New York:
I hope I'm doing a show near you but if I'm not I want you to
know that I feel it is my loss. Proceeds from the sale of my CDs
at my shows and on the johngorka.com website go to one of my favorite
causes -- The Center For Advanced Learning... (at our house).
It looks like our son will be off to college in just under a year
to be followed by our daughter 2 years after that.
Thank you for looking at this all the way to The End .
June 4, 2015
Hello from Minnesota,
been home or close to home these last few weeks which has made
me very happy. We've had some rain to help get us out of the moderate
drought we've been experiencing, but we've also had some gorgeous
days on which I've been able to ride my bicycle. The first few
months of the year were very busy with shows through 18 states
and provinces. Below is a list of shows for the summer and I will
also be part of 2 concentrated songwriter workshops: First with
my friend Eliza Gilkyson, in Taos, NM and the second in Salt Lake
City, UT with Kate Macleod, at the end of June. Eliza's Residency
is all filled up but there may be some room in the Utah Song School.
head back to my old stomping grounds this weekend starting with
a show at Godfrey Daniels where I got my start. That show is sold
out, I'm told, but the outdoor show the next evening in Bryn Mawr
has tickets available. In both shows I will be joined my fellow
Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band member, Russ Rentler on mandolin. The shows
over the July 4th weekend are with my friend Cliff Eberhardt.
Our shows together are always big fun. Come if you can! For more
info on these shows, the Utah Song School and others please
go to this link.
hoping to put out a recording I did in 1985 in Nashville,
produced by Jim Rooney. If you've heard my
debut record, I Know (1987), you will be familiar with
9 out of the 10 songs here but the versions are distinctly
different, with some excellent players such as Stuart Duncan,
Dave Pomeroy and Kenny Malone. Shawn Colvin and Lucy Kaplansky
came down for these sessions as well. We had to bake the multitrack
tapes in order to transfer the tracks to a digital form and
then did a new mix of each song. The working title is Before
Beginning. I will let you know when it is available.
am still sorry about the recent passing of Mr. B.B. King. In real
life he was never wrong.
Have a good summer!
There was an article in the Dallas Morning
News recently about
the restoration of Pegasus, the original "Flying Red Horse" sign
in Dallas. My song was used in a video version of the story which
you can view here...
The people who designed this poster
did a really nice job. It's from a few years back, in Durham,
5, 2015 Godfrey Daniel's Bethlehem, PA Jun
6, 2015 Bryn Mawr Twilight Concerts Bryn Mawr, PA Jun
7, 2015 The Turning Point Piermont, NY Jun
11, 2015 Casa De Musica Songwriting Residency with Eliza
Gilkyson Taos, NM Jun
25, 2015 Intermountain Acoustic Music Association Song ............
School .Salt Lake City, UT Jun
27, 2015 Utah Arts Festival Salt Lake City, UT Jul
3, 2015 Great Waters Music Festival Wolfeboro, NH Jul
Jonathan's Ogunquit, ME Jul
5, 2015 The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center Old ............
Jul 24, 2015 Private Event Jackson Hole, WY Jul
26, 2015 The Ark Ann Arbor, MI Aug
6, 2015 Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival Lunenburg, Nova
13, 2015 SubCulture New York, NY Aug
14, 2015 Guthrie Center Great Barrington, MA Aug
15, 2015 Private Event Stamford, CT Aug
16, 2015 YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts Bay
Shore, NY Aug
28, 2015 Amazing Grace Bakery Duluth, MN Aug
29, 2015 Amazing Grace Bakery Duluth, MN
February 28, 2015
While the northeast US has borne a beast of a winter, we in Minnesota
have had to deal with some normal sub-zero temperatures but not
a lot of snow. So far we have had it pretty easy but March is
known to be a very snowy month so I cannot yet claim this to be
a mild winter. (My wife says that I'm officially a Minnesotan
starting off this newsletter talking about the weather). My indoor
interests have me geeking out making, breaking and rebuilding
my computers for audio recording. It's an oddly enjoyable form
of trouble. I am now ready and looking forward to being in the
middle of a song. It might be my favorite place to be.
you for the great response to my last email mentioning my
CDs as holiday gifts. Bright Side of Down was the 3rd most
played album on the Folk DJ List for all of last year I am
happy to report. Also, late last Fall I found out that one
of my songs, Semper
Fi, was on Peter, Paul and Mary's new live CD Discovered:
Live In Concert. I had heard that Mary sang the song in
their live shows but I never heard her do it and didn't know
that there was a recording. I am thrilled to have one of my
songs on a Peter, Paul and Mary record. I am really pleased
with her rendition as it was so true to the spirit of the
song. I wish she were still here so that I could thank her.
already played in Northern California, Iowa, Arizona, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Minnesota so far this year with the next bunch of
shows listed below. The last 2 shows were especially fun with
my friends Michael Johnson and Cheryl Wheeler. Also, I will be
taking part in Eliza Gilkyson's Casa De Musica songwriting workshop
for the first time in Taos, NM June 11-14.
Here is a link for more information about that.
shows for the next couple months are listed below. I'm bouncing
around the country quite a bit! Have fun out there if you can
wherever you are and wherever you go. .
This is a note to say thank you for your interest in my music.
Thanks to those who came to the shows, bought physical cds, downloads
and also to the streamers. Thank you for listening. Thank you
all. If you would like to purchase cds from my website as holiday
gifts, I will sign every last one of them. I am happy to report
my newest, Bright Side of Down is turning up on lists of favorite
cds of the year, . If you order the cds by Monday night I should
be able to get them in the mail on Tuesday, Dec. 16. I send them
out USPS 1st Class Mail.
buy cds go here.
(I have only a few dvds on hand)
some other good news my song Semper Fi is on the new Peter, Paul
and Mary cd "Discovered: Live in Concert". I haven't heard the
recording yet but I'm happy that the song is on there. For a list
of upcoming shows please go here.
I hope this finds you merry and bright --
John Gorka Music Hello
to you in October 2014
October 02, 2014
Looking forward to seeing you out there.
to You, I hope this note finds you well. It looks like a busy
Fall travel season ahead beginning this week in Ontario, Canada
at The Registry Theatre in Kitchener on Friday, next week in Maryland
, PA and NJ.
The show in PA is at The Kennett Flash in Kennett Square, PA "The
Mushroom Capital of the World". There are trips to New England,
Texas and North Carolina as you will see if you scroll down. For
a full schedule of upcoming confirmed shows please go to John
Gorka tour dates
also looking forward to working on a new batch of songs this Fall.
I've got bits and pieces of them, fragments that won't seem to
leave me alone, which is something I've learned to pay attention
to. Lately I've been challenging myself to write songs in different
time signatures, like 5/4 time, so I've been counting to five
over and over and over again in different tempos. It's fun to
experiment, we'll see how it goes.
want to take a moment here to congratulate Eric Peltoniemi, president
of Red House Records, for being recognized with a Lifetime Achievement
Award by the Folk Alliance Midwest. In addition to being an artist
in his own right, Eric has made a great contribution to the world
of folk and acoustic music through his longtime association with
Red House Records. Check
House website to see all the great music, past and present,
and the community of artists that Eric and this label have brought
the past few weeks my travels have taken me through drought-stricken
areas of California with temperatures of 109 degrees, and along
northern Minnesota roads with signs warning of sled-dog crossings
and snow in the forecast. Sometimes this life is a study in extremes.
the moment here in Minnesota rain is falling and there is color
in the trees. Thank you for listening.
Community College Auditorium
Wentworth , NC
& Bow Society at Community Arts Cafe
411 W. Fourth St. Winston-Salem ,
United Methodist Church
2810 Providence Rd
Coffeehouse at UU Asheville
1 Edwin Place
Asheville, NC 828-299-4171 Website.
is the September 2014 newletter withhyperlinks
John Gorka says Hello
And hopes he's coming to a town near you.
it's technically still summer and the humidity is high, it's starting
to feel more like fall here, with the deer returning to their
starting to mix some recordings from very early in my career
for possible release, which has been fun. Also in the worksin
recent weeks was a session with Dirk Freymuth, who invited
me to record with him
a version of one of my favorite Stan Rogers songs, "Harris and
the Mare." It's funny that Dirk would bring up a song that I requested
Stan sing at a show in December 1980, on the first night I met
Post-session beer (John Gorka & Rob Genadek at the Black Forest
Projects this summer have included creating a studio version of
"Give us Back our Water," which was written in response to the
chemical spill in Charleston, West Viriginia that contaminated
the drinking water. Eliza Gilkyson sang with me on the track,
recording from her studio in Austin. The song has since become
part of a larger recording project with many other artists focused
on issues related to water, featuring Kathy Mattea and Tim O'Brien
to name a few. I'm glad to be part of it.
Gorka Give Us Back Our Water (Live from Mountain Stage) 2014
As always, I'm writing new songs and preparing songs old and new
for future recordings.