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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
Saturday, Apr 20, 2019


MUSIC

BRIAN WOOD @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

Johnny Menotti & Friends @ Tim McLoones Supper Club, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

Resurrextion & Friends @ The Wonder Bar, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

Dibbs Preston & The Detonators @ Randy Nows Man Cave, Bordentown - 8:00pm

XPN Welcomes Chris Smither @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 8:00pm

TRIBUTES TO U2 AND COLDPLAY WITH UNFORGETTABLE FIRE & FIX YOU @ The Wellmont Theater, Montclair - 7:00pm

THE HIT MEN – LEGENDARY ROCK SUPERGROUP @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm







THEATRE

Dixie's Tupperware Party @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Benny & Joon @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 1:30pm and 8:00pm

Heartland @ Luna Stage, West Orange - 8:00pm


COMEDY

Glenn J Raymond (Reality Check Tour) @ The Headliner Night Club, Neptune City - 7:00pm


DANCE

Derek Hough: Live! @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm


MISC

Celebrate Passover with iPlay America @ iPlay America, Freehold - 11:00am

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