John Gorka

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John Gorka
John Gorka at the Falcon Rodge Folk Festival.jpg
John Gorka at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival 2004
Background information
Born July 27, 1958 (age 55)
Origin Edison, New Jersey, US
Genres Folk
Occupations Songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1980's–present
Labels Windham Hill, High Street, Red House

John Gorka (born 1958)[1] is a contemporary American folk musician. In 1991, Rolling Stone magazine called him "the preeminent male singer-songwriter of what has been dubbed the New Folk Movement."[2]


Gorka received his first guitar as a Christmas gift, though Gorka alleges that his older brother stole it from him shortly thereafter. He eventually learned, instead, to play the banjo, and began performing in a folk music group at his church.

Gorka attended Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and joined the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band which would also include guitarist Richard Shindell. He began performing solo at the Godfrey Daniels coffee house as the opening act for various musicians including: Nanci Griffith, Bill Morrissey, Claudia Schmidt and Jack Hardy.

In 1984, Gorka was one of six winners chosen from the finalists in the NEW FOLK COMPETITION at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Since then he has toured with artists such as Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Michael Manring, Christine Lavin, Dave Van Ronk, Cliff Eberhardt, David Massengill, Frank Christian and Lucy Kaplansky.

As of 2005, he was residing in the St. Croix Valley area near Saint Paul, Minnesota.

In 2008, Gorka returned to Europe for the first time in fourteen years. In October, he played four times in the Netherlands, played live on VPRO radio and did a session for the John Gorka video site.

In 2009, Gorka toured in the USA as well as in Ireland and the Netherlands. In October, Red House Records released the CD "So Dark You See." Gorka's latest installment is considered a more intimate, vocal and guitar-centered record than the last two.

In March, 2014, Gorka continued his long relationship with Red House with the release of the acoustic CD, "Bright Side of Down."


Studio albums[edit]




"Best of" albums[edit]

On various artists compilations[edit]


  1. ^ Henkle, Doug, "FolkLib Index"
  2. ^ Wing, Eliza, Rolling Stone, August 8, 1991, p. 17

External links[edit]