Heart and Soul

John Gorka delivers powerful folk at the Grange

In his show at the Sebastopol Grange this weekend, John Gorka will probably get the loudest response from “People My Age,” a funny little tune about the vagaries of time and its effect on one’s flesh in middle age.

But not all of the world’s responses are audible. Through his more to-the-heart songwriting, Gorka is a master of eliciting the silent gasp. “If I Could Forget to Breathe,” “If These Walls Could Talk” and especially the sublime “Love Is Our Cross to Bear” are all Gorka at his earnest, honest best. Even his political material, such as “Ignorance and Privilege,” is rooted in deeply personal experience.

Gorka’s one of those solo guitarists who sounds like he’s playing two guitars at once, and one of those storytellers who can make you forget that another song is coming up again soon. The Sebastopol Grange is the perfect rural place to see him turn an “Oooh” into an “Ewww.” Don’t miss it on Friday, May 24, at the Sebastopol Grange Hall. 6000 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol. 8pm. $25–$27. www.northbaylive.com.