Legendary singer-songwriter John Gorka returns to The Mainstay for an evening of original song Friday July 26 at 8pm. Tickets are $25 online or $30 by phone reservation or at the door.Information and advance ticket sales are available on the Mainstay’s website at www.mainstayrockhall.org
From New Jersey, John Gorka is a world-renowned singer-songwriter who got his start at a neighborhood coffeehouse in eastern Pennsylvania. Though small, Godfrey Daniels was and is one of the oldest and most venerable music institutions and has long been a hangout for music lovers and aspiring musicians. In the late 1970’s, John was was one of these aspiring musicians. Although his academic coursework at Moravian College lay in Philosophy and History, music began to offer paramount enticements. Soon he found himself living in the club’s basement and acting as resident MC and sound man, encountering legendary folk troubadours like Canadian singer-songwriter Stan Rogers, Eric Andersen, Tom Paxton and Claudia Schmidt. Their brand of folk-inspired acoustic music inspired him, and before long he was performing his own songs – mostly as an opener for visiting acts. Soon he started traveling to New York City, where Jack Hardy’s legendary Fast Folk circle (a breeding ground for many a major singer-songwriter) became a powerful source of education and encouragement. Folk meccas like Texas’ Kerrville Folk Festival (where he won the New Folk Award in 1984) and Boston followed, and his stunningly soulful baritone voice and original songwriting began turning heads. Those who had at one time inspired him – Suzanne Vega, Bill Morrissey, Nanci Griffith, Christine Lavin, Shawn Colvin – had become his peers.
In addition to his 11 critically acclaimed albums, John released a collector’s edition box featuring a hi-definition DVD and companion CD called The Gypsy Life. Windham Hill also released a collection of John’s greatest hits from the label called Pure John Gorka. In 2010, he also released an album with his friends and Red House label-mates Lucy Kaplansky and Eliza Gilkyson under the name Red Horse. Getting high praise from critics and fans alike, it landed on the Billboard Folk Charts and was one of the most played albums on folk radio.
Many well known artists have recorded and/or performed John Gorka songs, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Mary Black and Maura O’Connell. John has graced the stage of Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, etown and has appeared on CNN. His new song “Where No Monuments Stand” is featured in the upcoming documentary Every War Has Two Losers, about activist and Oregon Poet Laureate William Stafford (1914-1993).
John Gorka lives in Minnesota and when not on the road, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children. He continues to tour, playing festivals, theaters and clubs all over North America and Europe.
The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall, MD and the surrounding region and is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Information and advance ticket sales are available on the Mainstay’s website http://www.mainstayrockhall.org.
Upcoming Mainstay performances include:
July 29 Joe Holt Welcomes Libby York
August 3 Bluegrass Supergroup Blue Highway!
August 5 Joe Holt welcomes Fred Hughes
August 9 Sue Matthews and the American Jazz Trio
August 12 Joe Holt welcomes Alex Lacquement
August 19 Joe Holt welcomes Pat Mercuri
August 26 Joe Holt SOLO SHOW
August 31 Kathy Kallick Band
September 2 Joe Holt welcomes Beth McDonald
September 7 The Mainstay Blues Series: Eleanor Ellis
September 9 Chestertown Jazz Fest Kickoff with Larry McKenna Quartet