The Point presents John Gorka
Friday, April 4, 2014 at 7:30pm
Chandler Center for the Arts - Randolph, VT
John Gorka, an honored icon of the American folk tradition, got his start in the late 70s 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. Although his academic coursework at Moravian College lay in Philosophy and History, music was a strong lure. 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’s 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.
Many well known artists have recorded and/or performed John Gorka songs, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Mary Black and Maura O’Connell. John has graced the stage of Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, etown and has appeared on CNN. His new song “Where No Monuments Stand” is featured in the upcoming documentary “Every War Has Two Losers,” about activist and Oregon Poet Laureate William Stafford (1914-1993).
John Gorka lives in Minnesota and when not on the road, enjoys spending time with his wife and children. He continues to tour, playing festivals, theaters and clubs all over North America and Europe.