Mention John Gorka to anyone who has heard him and the response is immediate: “Where and when is he playing and how do I get a ticket?!”
The short answer is: Fiddlers Crossing, June 8 at 7 p.m., in concert with fellow singer-songwriter Amilia K. Spicer.
Among the acoustic singer-songwriters, Gorka is generally considered to be one of the brightest stars. His songs have been covered by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Mary Black, Bill Morrissey and Suzanne Vega, among many others, and performed at Open Mic nights by many an aspiring musician. Whether it’s a song about the “Land of the Bottom Line,” “Italian Girls,” or one sung from the point of view of a tree, Gorka offers wry, slice-of-life observations that put his college major in philosophy to good use.
Originally from New Jersey, Gorka attended Moravian College in eastern Pennsylania in the 1970s, living in the basement of a small coffee house, Godfrey Daniels, and acting as resident MC and sound man. There, he was introduced to such songwriters as Stan Rogers, Eric Andersen, Tom Paxton and Claudia Schmidt, and began performing his own songs as an opening act. It wasn’t long before he was traveling to play in New York City, Boston and the Texas Kerrville Folk Festival, where he won the New Folk Award in 1984. With his beautiful, soulful baritone voice and his original take on life in his songs, those top tier acoustic musicians who had inspired him soon became his peers.
Gorka now lives with his wife and children in Minnesota, and tours regularly in the US and Europe. He has just released his 14th album and has appeared on CNN, Austin City Limits, A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, FolkScene, and other TV and radio programs. www.johngorka.com
Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 East F Street at Robinson Street, in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may purchased next door at Mountain Music, at Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, and Lucky’s Barbershop, or online through Fiddlerscrossing.com. Tickets to the concert are $25, and as always, coffee and goodies are included. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.