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12 Reviews
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When He Sings
These days we all grapple with a global community so full of fear and violence that it makes a body wonder what will be left for our children? Writing in the Margins is a songwriter's response to a world hard to reconcile. A husband, a father, a friend, these are songs to get you through a sunny or a blue day and remind you that you are not alone, there are others who see...
Published on August 16, 2006 by P. Bryn Benson

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6 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kinda disappointed.
The last 2 cd's have been a disappoint for me and will most likely never make it into my cd player. The album "The company you keep" was great, but both of these seem overproduced. You can't hear enough of his guitar playing and the song writing seems like he is just throwing words together that seem to rhyme instead of actually writing a song with meaning. Note to...
Published on August 7, 2006 by JStanley


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When He Sings, August 16, 2006
This review is from: Writing in the Margins (Audio CD)
These days we all grapple with a global community so full of fear and violence that it makes a body wonder what will be left for our children? Writing in the Margins is a songwriter's response to a world hard to reconcile. A husband, a father, a friend, these are songs to get you through a sunny or a blue day and remind you that you are not alone, there are others who see it and feel it too.

Writing in the Margins has a clear political bend, but that shouldn't be a surprise to Gorka fans. He has always shared his politics and worn his heart on his writing sleeve. Whether looking at his changing neighborhood, houses growing in rural fields or a solider writing home to his lover, we hear his lament and understand his bluer state. He is an observer, creating fine songs with never a wasted word.

The songs on WIM, like the songs that came before, shine a light on the commonplace. As in John's earlier albums, it is his ability of making a mountain out of a molehill, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary story that keeps people coming back for more. His songs are not just good, they are great. On Writing in the Margins the co-writes done with his wife, Laurie Allman, are some of the best including Bluer State. Chance of Rain and Broken Place.

Like the other 10 albums John Gorka has brought to the marketplace, Writing in the Margins holds songs written with an observant eye and an open heart. He speaks to our experiences giving his listeners a place to go when the world starts closing in...if only for a few minutes.

When Mr. Gorka sings, the world is a better place.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How does he keep doing it again and again?, August 15, 2006
This review is from: Writing in the Margins (Audio CD)
I wonder why I always seem to think of John Gorka along side of Frank Sinatra. It's not the same music, type of music, but yet it is. He's not nearly as popular as Sinatra, but somehow he is with in the New Folk Community. It's none of that. It's somehow the consistency. When you play a Sinatra song, even one never heard, you know what to expect. That it will be good, and somehow lift you up and make you feel better, even when the song is sad. The heart shines through.

THat's what I get from John Gorka. I hate to use a cliche like 'The heart shines through' for such a talented 'wordsmith' like Mr. Gorka. But then again his vocals are so connected that even he, like Mr. Frank Sinatra, can make even the most 'cliched' lyrics take on a new meaning, and universe with in the listener.

I'm just hoping that when John Gorka is all done with his final song that he will have an endless aray of songs that Sinatra left behind. HOw could anyone have recorded that many songs I sometimes wonder, and then I think of artists like John Gorka and hope that they do the same.

Great album for Gorka fans, or newbies alike.

Also it is great to see artists like Gorka being so nice to thier fans, genuinely nice, whether returning emails or being accessible after concerts....because most Folk Artists have fans with so many, too many questions about the lyrics.

He was nice to me, and fielded as many as I showered him with.

Thanks
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great CD for working through your thirtysomething angst!, October 20, 2006
By 
This review is from: Writing in the Margins (Audio CD)
I have been a John Gorka fan for quite some time now and have been anxiously awaitng the release of his newest CD. This latest release is mostly mellow and the songs have underlying themes about growing older, growing apart from old friends, trying to maintain some sense of zest for life even when things become tiresome and mundane. In other words, things to which most thirtysomethings or fortysomethings can relate! But, as usual, John Gorka is able to lyrically mesmerize with lines in his songs being simultaneously funny and pensive. "I'm in a bluer state" may have a double meaning, could it be that he is feeling sad or could it mean that he is just surrounded by Democrats? There are some modern anti war folk songs here, such as in the title track "Writing in the Margins." One of the more upbeat tracks on the CD is when he goes all Lyle Lovett on us and does his twangy and happy "I Miss Everyone." "When You Sing" is an almost religiously inspiring ditty and one of my favorites. While I admit he is still yet to recapture the perfection of "The Company You Keep," John Gorka never really lets me down. He still and ranks as one of my all time favorite modern folkies.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His vision is still clear...., August 15, 2006
By 
jackscrow (Ohio. Yep, we're to blame.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Writing in the Margins (Audio CD)
Most people are not quite sure how to categorize him. But when you really listen, it seems that Gorka knows where he's going and it's ok if you don't get it, he's writing for those who do. Get it.

This entire release is filled with the subtle work of a confident and mature songwriter who is solidly in place, writing songs that prompt real thought. On real life. In the real world.

Line upon killer line that can be dissected and viewed from many angles.

"Over here. Over here. My eyes are shot... but my vision's clear."

John Gorka once sang, "They didn't get what I was meaning 'til I stopped meaning too much."

Evidently he is still meaning a little too much for JStanley.

About eight of us went as a group to a Gorka concert a couple of years ago. Some university types along with some real-worlders.

About halfway through the night, one of the group (She had just "earned" her PhD in one of those questionable disciplines that puts more emphasis on "self actualization within the aims of the study program" than originality and scholarship -- I learned later that her listening habits tended toward Seals & Crofts and Lionel Ritchie.) looked at the rest of us and said "He's got such a wonderful voice. It's too bad he can't write."

We just stared at her.

That's the way you have to look at a "review" like the one "JStanley" posted here.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent effort, September 4, 2006
By 
Quality Guy (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Writing in the Margins (Audio CD)
I have now played the new Gorka twice and read the earlier customer reviews here. The great thing about this guy is that his songs keep on rewarding repeated listenings - not many artists these days can claim that - and he stays true to his style and fan base. Hard to categorise but easy to listen to. The kind of music that would send you down to the local every weekend if you could get there. I have all of the albums except Temporary Road (hard to obtain over the Pacific). This one contains what I think is his best ever track - the title track - sheer passion and articulate lyrics - just can't get it out of my head. Chance of Rain breaks the mould on the usual Gorka openers - usually they are my favourites (what was that?, dogs and thunder, when the ice goes out etc.) This is different but strong nonetheless. Bluer State is also excellent. Just wish I could see him live.

Oh Texan detractors obviously have some hearing problems. Excellent guitar playing and melodic wordy lyrics that set a brilliant mood.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivaling my favorite past cds, February 17, 2008
By 
Beth Tuohy "teen lit fan" (Toledo, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Writing in the Margins (Audio CD)
If, like me, your favorite cds by Gorka have been the older ones, you may, like me, rate this as one of his very best. During his recent Toledo, Ohio appearance he sang the title track, plus the great "Lockkeeper" by Stan Rogers and "When You Sing" his tribute to Mavis Staples. Listening to the whole album is a delight. How lucky we are that this wordsmith and troubador is among us!!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorka Grows...better every day, August 16, 2006
This review is from: Writing in the Margins (Audio CD)
Well...I waited to see what John would do next. As usual, he has provided me with yet another CD that is easily a soundtrack for my life. I own everything John has ever done (except the Razzy Spazzy days) and I can't explain how much this guy's songs move me, motivate me, and captivate me. Writing in the Margins is another yeoman effort by John. For anyone who understands the daily grind that work can be "Satellites" is your theme song. A classy anti-war effort in the songs "Writing in the Margins" and "Road of Good Intentions"...even a couple covers ( a first for John, correct?)I can't finish this review....I need to go listen to more Gorka. THANKS JOHN!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Run don't walk, February 16, 2007
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This review is from: Writing in the Margins (Audio CD)
All I can say is this CD is a "gem". The music and harmonies will find a place in your soul and etch deeper with every listen. I still have goosebumps and look forward to driving to my teaching position with this in my CD player. My students want to know what I'm humming and why I am in such a good mood. So like that "red horse" on the Mobile sign, jump off and get to your local record store and get Gorka's gem. Hurry now, you'll thank me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never pass up a Gorka CD, November 28, 2013
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This review is from: Writing in the Margins (Audio CD)
This guys is scary good and has been for, what, 30 years? He is one among maybe the top first singer-songwriter lyricists alive and producing today. If you ever heard him at Passim's in Cambridge, when he was a little weird yet engaging on the stage, through his long list of CDs since, you know this guy is the best. Great music. Great lyrics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful CD, August 6, 2007
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This review is from: Writing in the Margins (Audio CD)
One of John's best. Every song is a winner. The only thing better is seeing John live.
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Writing in the Margins
Writing in the Margins by John Gorka (Audio CD - 2006)
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