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John Gorka

Night Owl Music:Goodman and Gorka with thoughts of New Jersey!

Steve Goodman sings about the dangers of falling asleep with the TV on,

while John Gorka sings about living in New Jersey….

So we’ve all been there, it’s late at night the TVs on you fall to sleep to its glow, what could go wrong??…….maybe Steve Goodman can tell us….. in a song, that always brings a smile to my face, no matter how many times I hear it!!

and if you don’t remember or are too young to have even heard of the Veg-o-matic, here’s the commercial for”Veg-o-matic 2″!


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John Gorka, and thoughts about the first song I ever heard from an artist…..

Sometime in the early 90s I picked up the CD Legacy: A Collection of New Folk Music.  Through that album, I was introduced to two WH_Legacyfolksingers who became favorites from that album on, John Gorka and Bill Morrissey. I was thinking about the album and John Gorka,  because I was listening for the first time to Stu Larson and his album Vagabond, about which you will be reading soon. Anyway, my thoughts revolved around the first songs I ever heard by artists.

I know that the first Elton John song I heard was “Your Song” because I can still hear the DJ on WMMR saying now here is a song from this new artist from England Elton John! The Beatles was of course “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Light My Fire” The Doors. If I rack my brain I can probably come up with a lot more, but back to Morrissey and Gorka.  The Bill Morrissey song on Legacy was “Handsome Molly” and it’s still a favorite. The John Gorka song on the album was”I Saw a Stranger with Your Hair” it too,  became a favorite, as have many of his other songs!

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Lunchtime Music – John Gorka – “People My Age” Oh My!

John GorkaOk so on Wednesday, my wife moved closer to that magical life milepost the big 60! I won’t say how close she is because if I did she’d say “Well, I’ll still never be older than you!” And she’s right because as you may know, I passed that mile post a couple of years ago! Anyway over the last couple of weeks I keep flashing back to the folksingers that I have loved over the years. This morning I remembered the said passing of Steve Goodman and on this date but in 1973, Jim Croce died in that tragic plane crash.

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Morning Music – John Gorka – I’m From New Jersey

The other day I wrote that Joni’s Mitchell’s music was influenced by the beauty and grandeur of her native Canada, and then we heard Jack Williams sing about his southern home cooking – now it’s time to hear about my home state from New Jersey native John Gorka! And like John, when I lived in Florida and Georgia, I would always say NO – we don’t all talk like that, it’s JeRsey, there’s an R in the name!!Jersey is a divided state the people from the northern part of the state identify with New York and love those Yankees and Mets, while we folks from the southern part of the state identify with the correct city Philadelphia, and love those Eagles and the Phillies!!

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Slaid Cleaves – John Gorka a night with old friends!

The thing I love about writing this blog is finding new musicians to listen to, but what I often don’t take the time to do is listen to the ones I love! So the other night over the last hour of work I listened to two of my old favorites. First Slaid Cleaves and then John Gorka. Like many of the folks I listen to my introduction to Slaid Cleaves came from the Gene Shay Show on WXPN in Philly. It was a Sunday night that I was working and remembered to turn on Gene’s show and caught the end of  “Broke Down”. I didn’t recognize the name but I immediately went out to find the album. It took a couple of trips to my favorite used CD store to find it but it eventually showed up and I’ve been a fan since the first listen! My wife and I have seen him several times here in Philadelphia. The last time was at the Tin Angel for a CD release show for Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away and every time I leave a show a happy man!  The first time we saw him was at the  The Point in Bryn Mawr, Pa (I miss that place) and my daughter went with us. Before the show I saw Slaid at the bar and asked if he’d play my daughter’s favorite song “Lydia”. He said he was going to do it as part of the show. When he started the song he screwed up the lyrics! After the show we got Elizabeth an autographed photo which is in her room somewhere, the signature says “Sorry I messed up your song!!” One year for Christmas My wife sent away for several of Slaid’s earlier CDs and they all came autographed!! Anyway, it was good the other night to hear old favorites like “Broke Down”, “Key Chain”, “No Angel Knows” and “The Ballad of Sandy Gray”! My into to John Gorka was from the album Legacy: A Collection of New Folk Music. It was an  album designed to introduce fifteen young singer songwriters and the group that they collected was pretty great. Here’s what folk radio host for WNEW-FM , Pete Fornatal said in his liner notes for the album:

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Red Horse – Gorka, Gilkyson, and Kaplansky

So I finally got a chance to listen to the new project of three artists whose music I enjoy. Red Horse the self titled album that combines the talents of three great songwriters John Gorka, Eliza Gilkyson, and Lucy Kapansky. I’ve been a Gorka fan since I first heard “I Saw a Stranger with Your Hair” on a compilation album put out by Windham Hill in 1989 titled Legacy: A Collection of New Folk Music. That CD also introduced me to Pierce Pettis, Cliff Eberhardt, David Massengill, Sara Hickman and Bill Morrissey. Of the six artist Gorka and Morrissey are my favorites. The Morrissey song on that album “Handsome Molly” is an all time favorite. As for  Gilkyson and Kaplansky I have one Gilkyson album in my collection but no Kaplansky, but on the radio and Rhapsody I’ve enjoyed their music.

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