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#32 John Gorka: The Company You Keep

By Gary Wien

originally published: 01/26/2012

There’s something about growing up in the Garden State that stays with people; it becomes part of their identity regardless of whether or not it’s readily apparent, and it’s something that’s hard to shake.   Even though John Gorka has lived in Minnesota long enough for the state to claim him as one of their own, the man who once penned the song “I’m From New Jersey” has never forgotten the roots he planted growing up in Colonia. 

John may not be a household name, but just about every folk music fan will instantly recognize that wonderfully deep baritone voice when it comes across their radio.  Known as one of the leaders of the “New Folk Movement,” he’s carved out an impressive place for himself within the folk community.  As proof of his stature, artists such as Ani DiFranco, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lucy Kaplansky, Patty Larkin, and Dean Magraw lent their talents to The Company You Keep.

When John was recording this album (his eighth studio release), he was entering his forties and dealing with family life.  It’s a theme that is sprinkled throughout the album and one that gives it its charm. 

Mixed in between some of the most beautiful songs in his impressive catalog are the stories of John and the people around him as they head into their second stage; they take stock of their life (“A Saint’s Complaint”); comfort friends whose spouses have walked out on them (“When You Walk In”); revel in the moment of realization that their child has truly changed their life (“Over There”); joke about the unfortunate side effects of getting old (“People My Age”); and, perhaps most importantly, they make promises to utilize the rest of their days, continuing to look forward and to dream (“Morningside”).

Highlights include “What Was That,” “Shape Of The World,” “Morningside,” “Let Them In,” and “Over There.”


From the book Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists by Gary Wien

 






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Event calendar
Sunday, Dec 16, 2018


MUSIC

CHRIS GULLACE BAND - A BENEFIT FOR ST. JUDE @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 2:00pm

SOLAR CIRCUS / DOOBIE DECIBEL SYSTEM @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

ELEVEN ELEVEN @ Lobby Bar at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 2:00pm

SUNDAY JAZZ @ Hard Rock Cafe at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 10:00am

Joy to the World: A Christmas Suite @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 4:00pm


THEATRE

Elf, The Musical @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 2:00pm

A Christmas Story @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 2:00pm

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm

Seussical @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 2:00pm

Peter pan @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 1:00pm and 5:00pm

A CHRISTMAS CAROL @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 3:00pm

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 1:30pm and 7:00pm

A Wonderful Life @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Junie B. Jones The Musical at Black Box PAC @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 11:00am

A Charlie Brown Christmas @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 1:30pm and 3:30pm

Hudson Theatre Works presents "And My True Love Gave To Me" @ Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken - 5:00pm







DANCE

Cocktail Hour: The Show Featuring the B-Twist Orchestra @ White Eagle Hall, Jersey City - 6:00pm

NEW JERSEY BALLET’S NUTCRACKER WITH NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 1:00pm and 6:00pm

The Nutcracker: The Russian National Ballet @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Carol of the King: The Irish Dance Christmas Spectacular @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 3:00pm

Bolshoi Ballet: Don Quixote @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 3:00pm


KIDS

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