PLYMOUTH, N.H.—The “New” folk scene isn’t so young anymore, but it is thriving with the likes of John Gorka on board. Gorka’s stunningly soulful baritone voice and original songwriting have earned him a reputation as one of the best. For more than two decades, Gorka’s keen ear has picked up the stories of people along his path. The skillful musician folds them into poetry and song that thrills his cult-like following, and never fails to fill concerts. With his versatility on guitar and piano and his sly comments and clever jokes, Gorka keeps the audience in his spell.
Gorka comes to the Silver Center Stage at 8 p.m. Friday, March 30, under the aegis of the Silver Series for the Performing Arts.
Gorka got his start at a neighborhood coffeehouse in eastern Pennsylvania. His academic coursework at Moravian College was in philosophy and history, but music began to offer paramount enticement. He soon found himself living in the club’s basement and acting as resident emcee and sound man, encountering legendary folk troubadours like 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.
In short order, Gorka’s rich, multifaceted songs full of depth, beauty and emotion gained him increasing attention from critics and audiences across the country and in Europe, where his tours led him through Italy, Belgium, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Switzerland and Germany.
Rolling Stone has called Gorka “the preeminent male singer-songwriter of the New Folk Movement,” and the likes of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Mary Black and Maura O’Connell have covered his songs. He has also shared tours with many of his notable friends—Nanci Griffith, Shawn Colvin, Carpenter, and Lucy Kaplansky among them.
Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage and eTown have featured Gorka, who has 11 studio albums and countless collaborations to his credit. “Listening to him sing, one can get goose bumps all over,” reported the New York Times.
Tickets for Gorka’s Plymouth State appearance are $30 for adults, $28 for seniors and $15 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.