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John Gorka at the me and thee (Heather Mae opens)
me and thee coffeehouse
Marblehead, MA
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Check out our website www.meandthee.org for dining options in Marblehead and for parking tips.


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John Gorka at the me and thee (Heather Mae opens)
From New Jersey, John Gorka is a world-renowned singer-songwriter who got his start at a neighborhood coffeehouse in eastern Pennsylvania. Though small, Godfrey Daniels was and is one of the oldest and most venerable music institutions and has long been a hangout for music lovers and aspiring musicians. In the late 1970s, John was was one of these aspiring musicians. Although his academic coursework at Moravian College lay in Philosophy and History, music began to offer paramount enticements. Soon he found himself living in the clubs basement and acting as resident MC and sound man, encountering legendary folk troubadours like Canadian singer-songwriter Stan Rogers, Eric Andersen, Tom Paxton and Claudia Schmidt. Their brand of folk-inspired acoustic music inspired him, and before long he was performing his own songs  mostly as an opener for visiting acts. Soon he started traveling to New York City, where Jack Hardys 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, and his stunningly soulful baritone voice and original songwriting began turning heads. Those who had at one time inspired him  Suzanne Vega, Bill Morrissey, Nanci Griffith, Christine Lavin, Shawn Colvin  had become his peers.

In 1987, the young Minnesota-based Red House Records caught wind of Johns talents and released his first album, I Know, to popular and critical acclaim. With unusual drive and focus, John hit the ground running and, when an offer came from Windham Hills Will Ackerman in 1989, he signed with that labels imprint, High Street Records. He proceeded to record five albums with High Street over the next seven years: Land of the Bottom Line, Jacks Crows, Temporary Road, Out of the Valley and Between Five and Seven. His albums and his touring (over 150 nights a year at times) brought new accolades for his craft. His rich multifaceted songs full of depth, beauty and emotion gained increasing attention from critics and audiences across the country, as well as in Europe where his tours led him through Italy, Belgium, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Switzerland and Germany. He also started sharing tours with many notable friendsNanci Griffith and Mary Chapin Carpenter among them. All this brought his music to an ever-widening audience. His video for the single When She Kisses Me found a long-term rotation on VH-1s Current Country, as well as on CMT and the Nashville Network.

In 1998, after five successful recordings and seven years at Windham Hill/High Street, John felt the need for a change and decided to return to his musical roots at Red House Records. The choice was driven, in part, by the artistic integrity that the label represents in an industry where the business of music too often takes precedence. The 1998 release After Yesterday marked a decidedly different attitude towards making music for John, and his next release The Company You Keep held fast to his tradition of fine songwriting, yet moved forward down new avenues. Its fourteen songs displays Johns creative use of lyrics and attention to detail. Andy Stochansky played drums and shared production credits with John and Rob Genadek. Ani DiFranco, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lucy Kaplansky and Patty Larkin contributed stellar guitar work and vocals to this fan favorite. Old Futures Gone was informed by his life as husband and father of two young children and also contained the colorful experience of many hard years on the road. Writing in the Margins followed in 2006 and was an engaging collection of sweet and serious songs that spanned many musical genresfolk, pop, country and souland featured guest vocalists Nanci Griffith, Lucy Kaplansky and Alice Peacock. Now with this, his 11th studio album, he returns to his roots with So Dark You See, his most compelling and traditional album to date.

In addition to his 11 critically acclaimed albums, John released a collectors edition box featuring a hi-definition DVD and companion CD called The Gypsy Life. Windham Hill also released a collection of Johns greatest hits from the label called Pure John Gorka. In 2010, he also released an album with his friends and Red House label-mates Lucy Kaplansky and Eliza Gilkyson under the name Red Horse. Getting high praise from critics and fans alike, it landed on the Billboard Folk Charts and was one of the most played albums on folk radio.

Many well known artists have recorded and/or performed John Gorka songs, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Mary Black and Maura OConnell. John has graced the stage of Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, etown and has appeared on CNN. His new song Where No Monuments Stand is featured in the upcoming documentary Every War Has Two Losers, about activist and Oregon Poet Laureate William Stafford (1914-1993).

John Gorka lives in Minnesota and when not on the road, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children. He continues to tour, playing festivals, theaters and clubs all over North America and Europe.


ABOUT Heather Mae
The title track to her new album, I Am Enough is an ode to body positivity and breaking away from self-imposed affliction to fit into what society defines as beautiful. Wanderer and No Poor Soul are reflections of Maes own experience of publicly coming out and the relief associated with finding love that accepts you just as you areexternally and internally. Stand Up wraps up the entire record with its challenge to listeners to fight against intolerances that so many of us face, such as racism, sexism and other prejudices.

In the music video for 'Stand Up', which won Best Music Video in the Cinema Syster's Film Festival, Mae references the Black Lives Matter movement and the June 2015 SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage which destroyed DOMA.

After graduating in 2008 from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, directly afterwards she embarked on her first project entitled "One Year of Songs. The collection was an ambitious project which involved writing and recording one song every day for a year. The record received local and national attention (Washington Post dubbed her songs "charming") as she toured the country in support of the project.

As her star began to rise, Mae was diagnosed with nodules on her vocal chords. With her future suddenly in limbo, she was forced to re-evaluate her career and life.

I was told I would never sing again and I went through an introspective time. It was having to sit in silence that changed me. I hadnt ever used my voice for good and that became my mantra as I recovered, Mae says.

Heather realized she had never really written about the issues that meant the most to her.

I had been too afraid to put myself out there and be exposed. Its one thing to write about love, its another thing to write about loving your partner - who is a woman. To sing about what life is like as a plus size woman, the self acceptance and right to feel great about myself, and social issues that meant the most to me.  Before I went through this health challenge, and almost lost it all, fear held me back. It wasnt worth the risk but I got the message that it can be taken away in a second, and I knew it was time to step up.

She vowed that her new music would not only be different, but sincere and significant. In spite of some of her darkest days, Mae relearned how to sing. She took a step away from her previous folk-heavy style and her new sound is a unique fusion of indie-pop Tegan and Sara meets dynamic vocalist Etta James.

When people listen to my new music, my mission is that they feel theyre not alone and that theyre moved to rediscover the best versions of themselves, Mae says. Two years ago, I was told that the definition of who I was no longer existed. The thing that kept me going was believing that I wasnt alone in my brokenness.  We all fail at times and it is so much easier if we have more hands to help us up, rather than to point out our flaws. That is what this record is. A humble hand to help you get off your a**.

In 2017, Mae was selected as a Troubadour Showcase finalist in the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, CO. She was named the People's Choice Award winner in the Wildflower Music and Art Festival's Singer-Songwriter Showcase in Richardson, TX and landed an Official Showcase at the International Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City. Last year, Mae was selected as a finalist in the 2016 Kerrville New Folk Competition, International Songwriting Contest, and Falcon Ridge Songwriter Showcase. Mae has been lucky enough to perform, work, open for, and study one-on-one with diverse talents such as Tom Paxton, Paul Pfau (The Voice S8), Rebecca Loebe (The Voice S1), Amy Speace, Paul Reisler, and Ron Browning (Carrie Underwood, Wynonna Judd).

She is currently on tour in support of her EP. Find out if she's playing in your town and join the "I AM ENOUGH" movement:  www.heathermae.net/tour

Discussion

Location

me and thee coffeehouse (View)
28 Mugford St
Marblehead, MA 01945
United States

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Categories

Music > Folk
Music > Singer/Songwriter

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!

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