“Wry, slice-of-life observations reminiscent of Lyle Lovett and John Prine.”
(Aunt-yuh Doo va kott)
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, March 16, at 4 p.m., in concert with fellow singer-songwriter Antje Duvekot. For tickets call Mountain Music, 661-823-9994. And do it soon!
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 11th album and has appeared on CNN, Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, FolkScene, and other TV and radio programs. www.johngorka.com
On this tour, Gorka will be joined by Antje Duvekot (pronounced Aunt-ya Doo-va-cot) who will open the concert with a short set and then sing harmonies on some of his songs. Duvekot’s own songs have been critically praised for their “hard-won wisdom, dark-eyed realism, and street-smart romanticism…with a mature sense of hope, growth, renewal and love.” A native of Heidelberg, Germany, she moved to Delaware at age 13, where, lacking English, she struggled to assimilate.
Her songs recall her past, but also her triumphs. “The pain is built-in,” she says, “but a lot of these songs are life-affirming. I have managed to save myself while staying honest about where I came from.”
Duvekot now resides in Boston, and is often on the road, both in the US and Europe. She has won the John Lennon Songwriting Competition and the Kerrville Festival’s Best New Folk award. www.antjeduvekot.com
Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 East F Street at Robinson Street, in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may be purchased next door at Mountain Music, and at Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, and Lucky’s Barber Shop. Tickets may be reserved and/or paid with a credit card by calling 661-823-9994. Tickets to the concert are $20, and as always, coffee and goodies are included. The concert begins at 4 p.m. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Check the website for updates: www.fiddlerscrossing.org, or friend Fiddlers Crossing on facebook.