Big Hoke Big Hoke



Release Date: May 8, 2020
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released May 8, 2020
1. Wooden Meditation 06:31 Buy Track
2. Come Break Me 05:34 Buy Track
3. Ain’t No Use 03:05 Buy Track
4. Home 05:37 Buy Track
5. Burn On 04:21 Buy Track
6. Rag Mama Rag 04:53 Buy Track
7. Cannonball 03:00 Buy Track
8. Like You Can 04:17 Buy Track
9. If I Fly Away 02:43 Buy Track

Many of us find Home in different ways. Within ourselves, within others, dancing, writing, even darker things such as drugs and alcohol. The newly released Home from Big Hoke speaks to all of these avenues. This Americana, Roots/Rock/Revivalist record contemplates inner dialogue, breaking down addictions, believing in yourself, believing in your hometown, dealing with difficult friendships and, of course, love. Lyrics and music written by Justin Gorski. Produced and recorded at Gordy Quist’s (Band Of Heathens) The Finishing School, and mixed by The Loft’s Grammy Award winning Tom Schick, Home is a spiritually and sonically moving experience. Horns, steel guitars, fiddles, and strong back-up singing round out the talented rhythm section playing on the release. After all the years of searching, hating, recording, practicing, giving up, cleaning up, breaking down, meditating, writing, and performing, Justin has finally come Home to roost in this latest release by Big Hoke.

Album Review

"Big Hoke is an artist from Ohio who has been making music since he was five years old. His musical journey includes time in traditional Irish bands, jam bands, and jazz bands. On the new album Home (produced by Gordy Quist), he incorporates a lot of his influences into a sound that is both modern and nostalgic.

It seems fitting to release an album called Home at a time when most of us are confined. Granted, maybe Big Hoke didn’t foresee this situation with a worldwide quarantine and everyone being stuck at home. Still, his album comes along at a time when home has taken on a whole different meaning.

After the instrumental “Wooden Meditation” is “Come Break Me.” This is largely a piano pop song with some bluesy guitar in the background. The deeper you go into the song, the more you realize the similarity to “Layla” with the piano swells and the bent guitar tones.

This album is interesting because the guitar tends to dwell in the blues sounds. The rest of the instrumentation is something else. The title track is a good example. While the guitar part is mostly based in the blues, the horns are firmly rooted in soul and the accordion brings a little Cajun flavor to the sound.

The middle of the album is highlighted by a couple cover songs. One in particular grabs the attention – particularly if you’ve ever seen Major League. Big Hoke’s version of Randy Newman’s “Burn On” is pretty true to the original. It has the same sort of ragtime feel in the piano and horns while the guitar and rhythm definitely bring some rock and roll to the mix. The other cover is “Rag Mama Rag”, and if you had to describe this with just one word, big would be a good choice. Whether it’s the fiddle, horns, or keyboards, the sound in this song seems to come from everywhere. And when you hear the backing vocals, you just might feel like you’ve been taken to church.

This album incorporates a lot of different Americana sounds from bluegrass to jazz, soul, and rock and roll. The result is a sound that is both complex and infectious. Don’t be surprised if you get a good workout from dancing to this album. Home was released on May 8 and is available everywhere. Order your copy here."

Gary Schwind, May 15, 2020 - Americana Highways

"The way and style of playing the piano is very reminiscent of Billy Joel’s. The voice is somewhere between Elliot Murphy and Southside Johnny. He comes from Cleveland, Ohio, but he could very well have been born in New Jersey near Asbury Park or raised in the streets of the Big Apple on the Upper West Side. His name is Justin Gorski, and, under the pseudonym of Big Hoke, he has just released a new album, full of character, called “Home”. A fresh album, which grows on you the more you listen to it, with a hint of tradition of the great American storytellers, it manages however to be original in its own way. An album that tells many stories, some in black and white where the protagonists are the same as those in the songs by Springsteen or Tom Petty, others more colourful and hopeful like the sky depicted on the album cover. There are really many beautiful songs on “Home”. My favourites? “Rag Mama Rag”, “Ain’t No Use” and the title track “Home”. Listen to the music of Big Hoke, you will be pleasantly surprised."

Gianluca Sita - Planet Country