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JOHN GORKA —SO DARK YOU SEE - Red House (media)

www.redhouserecords.com
Singer-songwriter, John Gorka is a unique talent. He has a fabulous singing voice and, he writes great songs too. While not all the songs on the album are his own, the ones he has brought in are likewise top order fare. As in his fine interpretations of the poems of Robert Burns and William Stafford, respectively ‘Ae Fond Kiss’ and ‘Where No Monument Stands’, plus you have versions of Bruce ‘Utah’ Phillips’ ‘I Think Of You’ (c/w the briefest of introduction from the late bard), Michael Smith’s popular story-ballad ‘The Dutchman’ that fits his style, perfectly, and a version of the blues perennial ‘Trouble In Mind’ augment his own work. ‘Trouble In Mind’ has the short, but wonderful blues leaning instrumental ‘Fret One’ for company as Gorka with acoustic and Dick Freymuth on electric guitar pick some good stuff. Staying in this vein Gorka plays some choice fret-less banjo on ‘Fret Not’ that though made in his home it has rustic field like recording sound that near surpasses all others. So great is the sound!

Heard at his melodic best on ‘Whole Wide World’ he hooks onto a splendid little melody plus, he has the lovely soothing tones of Eliza Gilkyson lend support. When you place a John Gorka record on your player you not only get music that is good but, it welcomes you right on into his own emotional state of mind as he takes an intimate take on life. One of the prettiest songs is ‘Mr. Chambers’, while on bringing in the accordion of Dan Chouinard ‘That Was The Year’ is both funny and soothing. Also of a soothing nature we have the closing track ‘Diminishing Winds’ that has ‘the fabulous’ Lucy Kaplansky on harmony vocals, and mandolin player Peter Ostroushko lend crucial support to the wistful and imaginative ode.

Others of note include ‘Can’t get Over It’. Another that has the benefit of accordion, and on possessing a keen urgency ‘Ignorance And Privilege’ pounds on in relentless fashion —just how I love Gorka (John at his creative best, man his music speaks to me). While the presentation of Utah’s ‘I Think Of You’ with a hint of an old Celtic melody and Kaplansky in superb voice alongside a supporting cast of Jeff Victor (keyboards), Joel Sayles (upright bass) and Marc Anderson (percussion) it gains wings. As for his song, ‘Live By The Sword’ it is a snappy, lyrically sharp affair. If you are unfamiliar with Gorka then here is the opportunity to correct the defect in your persona plus, as a new year’s resolution why not have ‘become more acquainted with music coming from Red House records’ as your musical aim.
Maurice Hope

Folk legend John Gorka sat the KXT studios Thursday, December 3 for a live performance with afternoon host Joe Kozera.


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November 2017

1
JW Roy & The Royal Family
80 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,BH,RST,LK
2
Chris Hillman
79 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
BP,FS,HD
3
Turnpike Troubadours
46 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
HM,TK
4
Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton
36 pts.
Wildflower Blues
Cinquefoil Records
TJ
5
Eilen Jewell
34 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
 
6
Lucinda Williams
31 pts.
This Sweet Old World
Highway 20/Thirty Tigers
BR,MW
7
JD McPherson
29 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
JS
8
Mark Martyre
26 pts.
Rivers
Independent
FC
 
Tom Russell
26 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
SP
10
Anna Tivel
25 pts.
Small Believer
Fluff And Gravy Records
MG
 
Margo Price
25 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
JB
12
Fred Wickham
22 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
RK
 
Joe Henry
22 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
HVB,PJ
 
Whitney Rose
22 pts.
Rule 62
Six Shooter/Thirty Tigers
 
15
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
HDB,JJ
 
Jim White
18 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
LM,SZ
 
Peter Gallway
18 pts.
Feels Like Religion
Gallway Bay Music
CVL,DHO
18
Thomm Jutz
17 pts.
Crazy If You Let It
Mountain Fever Records
 
19
Kris Delmhorst
16 pts.
The Wild
Blue Blade Records
 
20
Daniel Crabtree
15 pts.
In The Shadow Of His Wings
Independent
 
 
Jeremy Pinnell
15 pts.
Ties Of Blood And Affection
Sofaburn Records
 
 
Julien Baker
15 pts.
Turn Out The Lights
Matador
EZ
23
Amber Cross
14 pts.
Savage on the Downhill
Independent
 
 
Chris Blevins
14 pts.
Better than Alone
Horton Records
 
 
David Rawlings
14 pts.
Poor David's Almanack
Acony Records
 
 
Grainne Duffy
14 pts.
Where I Belong
Independent
GC,RW
 
Jeff Crosby
14 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records

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