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The Company You Keep

John Gorka

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Album Review

For the most part, Gorka offers low-energy singer/songwriter folk with shades of adult contemporary rock on The Company You Keep. Weary nostalgia dominates his introspective, observational lyrics. Whether it's first person or second person, the material muses over lost chances and making the best of things without offering any easy solutions, with a complacent though not self-satisfied attitude. Matters are livened, slightly, by the Bob Dylan-like organ of "Oh Abraham," and a variety of female harmony vocalists, including Mary Chapin Carpenter and Ani DiFranco. When he kicks out the jams, relatively speaking, for the odd up-tempo tune like the bar-band-rollicking "Joint of No Return," or "Around the House" (which sounds somewhat like Tom Rush does when he decides to rock out), the sudden jolt of octane is downright shocking. "People My Age" and the country-flavored "Hank Senior Moment" flash glimpses of a nasty edge largely absent from the other compositions.

Biography

Born: 1958 in Edison, NJ

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A singer/songwriter famed for his rich, expressive baritone, New Jersey native John Gorka was one of the leading lights of the new folk movement. Gorka began his career while attending college in Pennsylvania in the early '80s, appearing at open-mike nights at a local coffeehouse before eventually forming his own group, the Razzy Dazzy Spasm Band. Soon he hit the road, performing up and down the Eastern Seaboard before finally settling in Texas and winning the Kerrville Folk Festival's prestigious...
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The Company You Keep, John Gorka
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