of the 50s, 60s and beyond....

Leo Kottke

Leo Kottke - an innovative acoustic guitar virtuoso,was born in 1945 He started playing the guitar at age 11 and developed a love for the country-blues of  the  Mississippi. After hitchhiking across the country as an itinerant music. he settled down in the Twin Cities area and became a fixture on the city's folk club circuit. He issued his 1969 debut LP “Twelve  String Blues”, recorded live at Minneapolis' Scholar Coffee House. He always was inclined more to be an instrumental performer;preferably on a Twelve-String Guitar rather than be labled a singer/songwriter. His instrumentals cover folk, rock, jazz and bluegrass, all done with his outstanding finger-picking mastery.

In 1975 he reached the U.S. Top 50 for the first time; he also gained an international cult following thanks to his performances at folk festivals the world over. His live concerts in Europe in 1980 made him really popular in Germany.

 In the middle of the 1980s his technique got closer to classical guitar performance.

 He released an album annually from 1989 to 1991 , returned 1994 with an Album entitled “Peculiaroso”, followed by . “One Guitar No Vocals”in 1999.

I remember his concert in Hamburg, Germany which turned me into a fan for good !. Imagine a packed house, an empty stage with just one chair. No band , no nothing - except a lonely man  with a guitar to entertain a big crowd all night ? Before the first sound could be heard everbody was almost disenchanted, figuring this is going to be a dull evening..AND THEN Kottke started MACHINE ! It sounded like a  whole band would be turned lose - you just could not believe your eyes that all of this would come from one single man on that lonely stage !

Aside from his powerful songs I start to appreciate more and more the sophisticated, almost classical songs that he came up with on his latest albums like Twilight Time or Wonderland By Night

You'll need RealAudio Player to play the sound clips

 

My personal top 5

1

Machine N°.II

2

Poor Boy

3

Venezuela, Here You Go

4

Wonderland By Night

5

Twilight Time

1

2

3

Venezuela, Here You Go- Call experimental music - but it sure has a distinct, unusual sound.. 

4

5

Wonderland By Night - Very conservative - you can almost hear Chet Atkins ! I just call it “matured” and great to listen to.

Twilight Time - The Platters would love it too - just like the song no.4. Will he turn to classics altogether in the end ? Granted, there is no R&R any more - but still a good piece of music .

MACHINE N° II Can you imagine this sound filling a complete concert hall ? You just have to push up the amps to get that feeling - one man filling a hall with 1 guitar ( Well, this sample does include a bit of drums - but not in the concert..).

Poor Boy - Here is that slide guitar sound which made him famous - a real new sound on the scene.. 

Links:

The Official Website Of Leo Kottke

The Unofficial Leo Kottke Web Site

A Leo Kottke Fan Site

Great Fan-Site