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The Company You Keep

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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.

Customer Reviews

Company you welcome every time

I bought the whole album and wasn't sorry I did. Hadn't heard a new album of his for a while, and was struck that his melodies are stronger and his lyrics deeper. If "Let Them In" does not break your heart, check your pulse.

Folk 4 today

If you are a fan of folk music. If tunes with evocative lyrics taking you to new yet friendly places keeps you coming back. This album is for you. As a song writer he brings modern images to modern listeners. Take for example the lyrics from the song "Oh Abraham", "I was born by a Kerouac stream
Under Eisenhower skies." As with every song writer s/he has in their own mind a meaning behind any song. This album allows you to tease out and smile at what you think Gorka is thinking while an inner warmth fills you with your own images.

Terrific Songwriter

This is a wonderful collection of songs from a master songwriter. My favorite cuts include Temporary Road and The Gypsy Life. If you are new to John's music, this is a good place to start. Remember to give it multiple listens...John's music is like fine art...every song has a message and is masterfully crafted. Enjoy!


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...
Full Bio
The Company You Keep, John Gorka
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Customer Ratings


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