John Gorka - After Yesterday

After Yesterday

John Gorka

(RHR 121)

Red House Records
P. O. Box 4044
St. Paul, MN 55104

A review written for The Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Moshe Benarroch

After Yesterday is Gorka's seventh CD, and his second for Red House. His debut, I Know, was also recorded for this label, so numerologists and mystics can say that Gorka has come full circle. It was his second CD, The Land Of The Bottom Line (Windham Hill, 1990), that really launched Gorka's career, and was, in many ways, responsible for the revival of interest in singer-songwriters in the nineties. The Land Of The Bottom Line is one of the top ten folk CD's of the nineties, and if you are reading this it is improbable that you don't have it yet, but if you don't go and get it.

In the song After Yesterday, Gorka sings about being a father:

I've spent most of my life as a luxury
Now I have taken the role of a necessity.

If this is the process that Gorka has gone through in his life, he has done the opposite in his music . He has become a luxury. A great singer, songwriter, arranger, and half producer (with J. Jennings), his music is very beautiful. Playing this CD endlessly, I still didn't find he was the necessity he was as the angry young man of The Land Of The Bottom Line."

After Tomorrow is mostly a quiet and acoustic venture, with four or five musicians, and very beautiful harmony vocals by Lucy Kaplansky. It is a CD you can hear any time of day, either as background music, or you may choose to listen more closely to the lyrics.

In Cypress Tree Gorka sings about the changes in a woman's body when she's pregnant, and afterwards, and describes the changes in his life when the child is here. It's a beautiful love song:

I have watched her body changing shape
The new eating, craving patterns
It seems everything is turning round
Including everything that matters

Every new father and mother will see him or herself in this description of the changing of one's priorities.

I wonder what happened to the song Let Them In which appeared in the Red House sampler House On Fire 2, and why it is not on this album. It is such a beautiful song - maybe next time.

After Yesterday is another great recording in Gorka's very consistent discography, but I get the feeling that this is another "dessert" CD, like his three previous CD's, and that he could deliver the main course. Not a masterpiece, by Gorka's standards, but still one of the best albums of the year.

Song List:

  • When The Ice Goes Out
  • Thorny Patch
  • Cypress Trees
  • Wisdom
  • Silvertown
  • January Flow
  • Amber Lee
  • After Yesterday
  • When He Cries
  • St. Caffeine
  • Zuly
  • Heroes

Edited by Roberta B. Schwartz

Copyright 2000, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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