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So Dark You See

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iTunes Review

It’s truly stunning what some folks can do with just an acoustic guitar and the power of their own voice. John Gorka is an elite level singer-songwriter who occasionally allows bass and drums to help drive his tunes. But in the end it comes down to the incredible intimacy of Gorka and his guitar. Two instrumentals, “Fret One” and “Fret Not” allow for a few quick flourishes of fingerpicking and fretboard chops. But it’s the simple, subtle shadings of “Night Into Day” that show off everything Gorka can do. The emotion comes through on the strum of the first guitar chord and doesn’t let up until the final notes rings out. He interprets Utah Phillips’ “I Think of You,” Richard Jones’ bluesy “Trouble In Mind,” and Michael Smith’s “The Dutchman” with the same grace he brings to his own originals. “Whole Wide World” tips towards pop. “Ignorance and Privilege,” “Where No Monuments Stand,” “That Was the Year” and “Diminishing Winds” deliver a contemplative songwriter. Sophisticated yet never over-complicated, Gorka’s a veteran with miles to go before he’s complete.

Customer Reviews

Wrong info.......

Just so you all know..... the correct release date for this album is October 13, 2009. And the above review is from a previous release, and one of the very few poor reviews of John's work. Most are more like this one.....

“Listening to John Gorka sing, one can get goosebumps all over. There are many reasons—fresh lyrics, a stunning, emotional baritone voice, his twisted humor—but to focus on one limits the experience.”

— New York Times

Another masterpiece from one of America

John Gorka played here in Berkeley, CA, at Frieght & Salvage, on Sept. 26th, 2009, and I got to hear a number of songs from this new album, "So Dark You See." All the new songs were great, and "Ignorance and Privilege" really stood out. As usual, it was a great live performance by John, but the concert left me hungry to hear all of his new album.

Now that I have bought it and had time to listen to it, I have to say this is one of John's strongest albums to date-- can't say it's the best ever, but "So Dark You See" definitely reflects Gorka's growth in his already deep humanity and his song craft. For me, the standout songs are "Ignorance and Privilege," "I Think of You," (another great love song from John), "Where No Monuments Stand, " (powerful social commentary) and "Night Into Day" (maybe the most haunting song on the album.)

If you are already a fan of John's, this album is a must-have. But even if you are new to him, this album is a great introduction to his marvelous music and voice. (But don't miss early masterpieces like "Jack's Crows" or "Land of the Bottom Line." A five-star album from an American treasure - don't miss it!

top three

'So Dark You See' is one of his best albums to date- it's up there with 'Temporary Road' and "The Company You Keep'. Gorka expands his musical horizons just a bit more in this record and the album has the feel of a already good wine that will certainly improve with age. Possibly the best lyricist and story teller in music today.


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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So Dark You See, John Gorka
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