WOJB Presents John Gorka - May 13, 2017

John Gorka



"Wry, slice-of-life observations reminiscent of Lyle Lovett and John Prine" -AP

From New Jersey, John Gorka is a world-renowned singer-songwriter who got his start in 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 1970s, John was was one of these aspiring musicians. Although his academic coursework at Moravian College lay in Philosophy and History, music beckoned... 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. He began traveling to New York City, where Jack Hardy’s legendary Fast Folk circle (a breeding ground for many major singer-songwriters) became a powerful source of education and encouragement. 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. Artists who had at one time inspired him – Suzanne Vega, Bill Morrissey, Nanci Griffith, Christine Lavin, Shawn Colvin - became his peers.


John Gorka is now a pillar of the folk music community, with 13 albums to his credit and appearances on Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, eTown, CNN and more. Many artists have recorded and/or performed his songs, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Eliza Gilkyson, Mary Black and Maura O’Connell. His song “Where No Monuments Stand” is featured in the documentary Every War Has Two Losers about activist and Oregon Poet Laureate William Stafford (1914-1993).

Tickets are $20 advance, $25 door and $5 for students 18 and younger, call WOJB at 715-634-2100