Sunday, Nov 27: Christmas Is A Funny Thing
I Wish I Was the Tune Tonight
Saturday, Sep 17: Neko Case
Run to this Show!
Saturday, Sep 10: Don't Run Away
Y'all City Slickers Listen Up
Thursday, Jul 28: Edgewood Music and Arts Fest
Friday, Jun 3: Albuquerque Folk Festival
Tuesday, Feb 2: George Winston • piano, jazz
Orkestrating a Light in Your Heart
Saturday, Dec 5: Kindling the Light: The Rebbe's Orkestra
Acoustic Performer John Gorka Graces Duke City
Singer/songwriter John Gorka delivered two highly spirited sets at the Summer Nights series at the BioPark (903 10th Street SW) on Thursday, June 19. The Minnesota-based veteran touring artist wowed longtime fans and won over countless Albuquerque music lovers who were new to his signature mix of deep and clever vocals, guitar and comedic storytelling.
Gorka opened with originals from his latest release, The Bright Side of Down, and continued to sample the collection to great effect throughout the evening. Gorka is nothing if not precise, personal and universal, sometimes all in the same lyric. This ability combined with masterful musicianship across genres including folk, blues, pop, rock, bluegrass and rockabilly makes him a worthy companion for an evening ... or a lifetime. This reviewer has seen him in concert over 20 times. Many of those performances have been in festival settings, as Gorka is a highly sought-after act on the vital, enduring national folk fest circuit. At the BioPark concert, he joked about visiting Scandinavia, a hotbed of singer/songwriter and folk fandom.
Gorka's catalog is extensive, and he plumbed its depths in concert. Selections included chestnuts like “I Saw a Stranger with Your Hair,” “I’m From New Jersey,” “Branching Out” and “Love is Our Cross to Bear.” The modern-day Renaissance man wove requests and selective orchestrated sing-alongs to engage the receptive crowd on the lawn that beautiful night. Many in the audience were obviously longtime followers. And they, along with the newcomers, were rewarded with a varied and holistic representation of the showman’s talent.
In stark contrast to the awkward egotism displayed by Marc Cohn the week prior at Zoo Music, Gorka paid our fair city a compliment during the second set. He praised the enthusiastic audience, noting that he wished all his shows could be like this, in “this corner of paradise.” The key to delivering such a line lies in simplicity and sincerity, and Gorka radiated both.
John Gorka is a deft master of the folk trifecta: penetrating lyrics, unparalleled musicianship and compelling storytelling. When he opened and finished his tunes at the BioPark, he wasn't greeted with mere applause: We’re talking yelps, yoo-hoo's, squeals of joy and all-around exuberant acknowledgment of this well-traveled troubadour.
Dear John, please come back soon and stay longer.
The Daily Word in the State of the Union, tumbleweed uprisings and the Toe Jesus of Silver City
Last night, Obama gave his annual State of the Union address. Here's the important part.
And, of course, the rebuttal.
How not to deal with the media: New York representative threatens to throw reporter off balcony and "break him in half." With the cameras running.
Remember that time Pete Seeger refused to cooperate with HUAC? He did offer to sing them some songs though.
More proof that God's running out of ideas for miracles: The Toe Jesus of Silver City. Go home, God. You're drunk.
Watch out, everybody! The tumbleweeds are fighting back!
Low Culture, genre-palooza and popular music
This week’s Music to Your Ears dishes up the 411 on shows in genres ranging from poppy garage-punk to doomcream R&B to indie rock to folk. Listen to tracks from featured acts below. Synchro Studio • Low Culture • Pregnant, Again • Harbors • Downplay Music • Sat Jan 12 • 7:30 pm • $6 • ALL-AGES!
Music to Your Ears
Sonic reductions of Horse Lords, Samantha Glass and Chris Schoen
Music writer Peter Mezensky and I checked out new releases from Horse Lords, Samantha Glass and Chris Schoen and share our opinions in this week’s Sonic Reducer. Check out audio from featured acts below.
Flyer on the Wall
Folky Friday the 13th
Observe this superstitiously spooky Friday with a collection of Americana acts at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW). Cali Shaw, Wildewood, Todd and the Fox, and Jenny Wren form the local lineup. Admission is $5, and the show starts at 9 p.m. (JCC)
Indiegrass songstress Sage Harrington
Americana is the new punk rock. Like the early ’80s when any yob with a snarl and electric guitar called themselves punk, anyone today that has a thrift store banjo and name drops the Carter Family thinks they are folk musicians, deserving of serious listening and dollar-per-song downloads. Wrong.