Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested CDs
Pretty Good Choice of Songs
J. McAndrew | USA | 08/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are certain songs you hear in life and there are others that live in your song. Many of these songs have lived in my soul and have helped me become a stronger person. "Houses in the Fields" is a very compassionate song about the family farmer and his toils. "Silence" is a nice philosophical piece about the meaning of silence and how that plays in relationships. "I Saw a Stranger" has a very contemplative feel and echoes feelings many people have. "Italian Girls" is a smart and somewhat sarcastic song. It is wistful and darkly comical.
Pretty good collection but he could have picked a few more good ones like "Over There" and "Wisdom." How about "Old Futures Gone?"
Very talented musician. I have seen him live at the Grand Opera House in Oshkosh. Very good on stage :)"
He's from New Jersey
Colin Spence | Formby, UK | 01/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With his rich low tenor voice, elegant melodies and restrained instrumental accompaniment, John Gorka's music projects an 'easy listening' sound. Indeed, with a casual first time listen, his music can easily be dismissed as just that and nothing more. I'm not suggesting that there is anything wrong with this style of music, but more attentive listening reveals that a major strength lies in the lyrics, which are low on cliches and high on originality.
I'm fairly new to the music of JG, and this album was an ideal first choice for me because it is a compilation of 15 of his songs taken from the 5 albums he recorded for Windham Hill between 1990 and 1996. It's music that can best be described as contemporary folk/folk-pop - although lyrically, all of the songs are far superior to the majority of 'regular' pop songs. In addition to his own subtle acoustic guitar playing, JG is ably supported by a whole host of players and backing vocalists - these include (those with whom I am familiar) : John Leventhal, Peter Ostroushko, Leo Kottke, Lucy Kaplansky, Nanci Griffith, Kathy Mattea and Shawn Colvin; but there are many others, and they all turn in accomplished performances.
Some comments about a few of my favourite songs :
JACK'S CROWS - a slow tempo song; eerie and, at times, even a little sinister; it features some delicate and tasteful guitar playing - acoustic (JG) and electric (Lyle Workman).
SILENCE - an introspective mid-tempo love song, crisp percussion and (what sounds like) the haunting tones of a euphonium in the background.
WHERE THE BOTTLES BREAK - JG questions the effect that some people, with more money than soul, can have upon the identity of a township; he yearns for those days when towns were less 'gentrified'; acerbic lyrics, and the song rocks (but not too much).
HOUSES IN THE FIELDS - a sad, wistful song about farmers forced to sell up for economic reasons; the deserted fields are then taken over by property developers. The song also focuses upon the inevitability of changes to the landscape, from rural to suburban - but that's progress? Super harmony vocals from Shawn Colvin and Lucy Kaplansky; also, listen out for baritone violin accompaniment (Darol Anger).
I'M FROM NEW JERSEY - a gentle song, in which JG sings about his home state and the easy going, unassuming people who live there (`They will try harder, they may go further, `cos they never think that they are good enough').
JG has a very natural and unforced way of singing; however, I would have liked a few more songs with an edgier vocal delivery - songs such as 'Jack's Crows', 'Where the Bottles Break' and 'Lightning's Blues'; nevertheless, a fine album just the same. With such exceptionally good lyrics, I was surprised that these were not included in the liner notes."
A Simple Collection of his Best
Zimm | Atlanta, GA United States | 11/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having enjoyed John Gorka for years and having all but one of his CDs, I found this compilation to offer a unique blend of some of my favorites and apparent favorites of others.
I look forward to his next album - ad does my brother, who I - just recently - introduced John Gorka."