Thursday, March 12, 2015

Leo Kottke - 1973-05-09 - Clark University, Worcester, MA

Leo Kottke
Clark University, Worcester, MA

Soundboard recording, very good quality
Mp3 @ 256 kbps

Listening to Ry Cooder's acoustic slide work on the 1979 Cambridge Folk Festival recordings reminded me of another great American acoustic slide guitarist from the '70's that I love but hadn't listened to in a long time, and who also could be placed in this elusively diverse category labelled 'Americana' or 'Roots' music. Leo Kottke, one of the all-time great acoustic guitar players, and certainly the most unique, plays in a blistering fast, aggressive, syncopated, polyphonic, unconventional picking style that is all his own, and is totally amazing to hear. He began playing in and around coffeehouses in the late 'sixties and recorded his first album live at a coffeehouse in Minnesota (12-String Blues) in 1969, and then recorded an all-instrumental album for John Fahey's Tacoma Records (6- and 12-String Guitar), which established his reputation as a dynamic and powerhouse guitarist. His popularity increased with a series of albums for Capitol in the 1970's, which featured his unconventional singing voice, in addition to his virtuoso guitar playing. Here is a show from 1973, from around the time of his 3rd Capitol album, My feet Are Smiling, which was a live album, and followed Mudlark-1971 and Greenhouse-1972. Although his vocals (a resonant, but sometimes shaky baritone) are something of an acquired taste (I happen to like it), his guitar-playing (and guitar compositions) are spectular, and no one else played like him. Check out the sick picking and slide work on songs such as 'June Bug', 'The Spanish Entomologist', 'Vaseline Machine Gun', and 'Busted Bicycle', to name just a few. Just unbelievable. He also is a great story-teller with an offbeat sense of humor, and his between song commentary is always entertaining. 

01 - Cradle to the Grave (2:43)
02 - Chuck Pink (5:43)
03 - Louise (4:20)
04 - Living in the Country (1:38)
05 - Last Steam Engine Train (2:39)
06 - Fisherman (3:21)
07 - Eight Miles High (3:58)
08 - Ojo (3:31)
09 - June Bug (2:56)
10 - Spanish Entomologist (4:16)
11 - Bean Time (2:51)
12 - Tiny Island (3:25)
13 - Stealing (3:55)
14 - Sailor's Grave on the Prarie (3:55)
15 - Vaseline Machine Gun (3:41)
16 - Busted Bicycle (2:18)
17 - Standing in My Shoes (3:29)
18 - Crow River Waltz (3:10)
19 - Jesu, Joy of man's Desiring (1:59)
20 - Jack Fig (2:04)

Leo Kottke_1973-05-09_WorcesterMA.rar


La Piazza Gancio said...


Narrow Dog said...

Not heard thi guy, thanks for the recommendation.