John Gorka

Genres: Folk
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

New Jersey, USA. Singer-songwriter Gorka, who possesses a rich and emotive baritone, honed his craft in America’s north-eastern folk scene of the early 80s before recording a succession of acclaimed albums. Influenced by Tom Paxton, Richard Thompson and Tom Waits, amongst others, his musical career began in 1986 when he was attending Moravian College in Bethlehem, with the intention of studying history and philosophy. A small coffee-house folk scene had sprung up at a nearby venue called Godfrey Daniels, and Gorka graduated from open-mic spots to leading a group, the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band. However, he packed his guitar and took his songs out to the wider world, playing throughout north-east America, then travelling to Texas where he won the Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk Award in 1984. His debut album, I Know, was released on Red House Records in 1987, and featured the best of his early songwriting, including ‘Blues Palace’, ‘Downtown...

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