John Gorka
John Gorka

John Gorka Returns to Stuart’s Opera House Feb. 1

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World-renowned singer-songwriter John Gorka returns to Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville, Ohio, for an evening of live music on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m.

Called “the leading singer/songwriter of the New Folk movement” by Rolling Stone magazine, Gorka’s songs have been covered by many well-known artists, including Nancy Griffith and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Hailing from New Jersey, Gorka cut his musical teeth in the late 1970s at Godfrey Daniels, a highly respected coffeehouse venue in Bethlehem, Pa.

While working at the club as a sound man and MC, he encountered such folk legends as Stan Rogers, Eric Andersen, Tom Paxton and Claudia Schmidt.

Before long, Gorka was performing his own songs, mostly as an opener for visiting acts. Soon he started traveling to New York City, where Jack Hardy’s legendary Fast Folk circle (a breeding ground for many a major singer-songwriter) became a powerful source of education and encouragement. Folk meccas like Texas’ Kerrville Folk Festival (where he won the New Folk Award in 1984) and Boston followed.

In 1987, Minnesota-based Red House Records caught wind of Gorka’s talents and released his first album, I Know, to popular and critical acclaim. He continued from there, recording five albums in seven years with High Street Records.

His albums and his constant touring brought new accolades and fans, leading to international tours and appearances on Austin City Limits and NPR’s Mountain Stage.

Tickets are still available for the Feb. 1 performance at Stuart’s Opera House. For more information, visit www.stuartsoperahouse.org.