Music Matters Review

John Gorka—True in Time
2018, Red House Records

True in Time sounds like the work of a musician who has been perfecting his art since the late 1970’s… because it is. In three days in a studio full of fine musicians and with vocals by fellow singer-songwriters Lucy Kaplansky, Eliza Gilkyson and Jonatha Brooke, he has produced another masterful album of songs that must be considered to be among his finest. No matter whether the songs are whimsical or profound, Gorka’s rich baritone is still the perfect instrument, and his playing has never sounded better. The title track was written in collaboration with Pete Kennedy shortly after the consecutive deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Gorka quoted Paul Simon’s “Mother and Child Reunion” (“a mother and child reunion is only a motion away”), and Pete responded saying, “maybe all songs come true in time.” The song that sprouted from this topical seed grows into a reflection on the nature of truth in passing time. “Crowded Heart” is classic John Gorka, nailing a bit of truth and beauty with gentle humor, pondering what it feels like to be filled “with all that living brings.” “Fallen for You” recalls the alert system ads, “I’ve fallen for you and I can’t get up,” with a wry senior romantic twist. True in Time is an essential listen for anyone who finds truth in a crowded heart. —Michael Devlin