Saturday, March 14, 2009
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Leo Kottke
Song:The Train And The Gate
Album:The Instrumentals: The Best Of The Chrysalis Years
Leo Kottke is the master of the twelve string acoustic guitar. His technique and musicianship has earned him a loyal fanbase and this comp is a perfect introduction to his music. He was born Sept. 11, 1945 in Athens, GA and moved around a lot as a child. Kottke was a big fan of Mississippi John Hurt. A mishap with a firecracker caused hearing loss and that resulted in him being discharged from the Naval Reserves. He wound up playing the coffee house circuit in St. Cloud, MN and his 1969 debut album got the attention of another guitar whiz. So John Fahey released Kottke's second album 6 & 12 String Guitar on his Takoma label and that led to a contract with Capitol Records. But Capitol tried to turn Kottke into a singer songwriter. Kottke has described his singing voice as "geese farts on a muggy day". That didn't work so Kottke moved to Chrysalis Records in 1976. Though Kottke had to change his picking style due to tendinitis, it hasn't slowed him down. He built his fanbase performing at folk festivals and his Chrysalis albums sold well enough to keep him there until 1983. This comp is from those years. The Train And The Gate is from his 1980 album Live In Europe. Kottke moved to the RCA owned Private Music in 1983. Private was RCA's attempt to emulate the very popular new age label Windham Hill. He has recorded there ever since. His most recent CD is a duet album with Phish bassist Mike Gordon called Thirty Six Steps released on RCA in 2005 after Sony BMG closed Private in 2004. I suspect we'll see him record on his own label in the future. Guitar fans should check out Leo Kottke. Here's Leo Kottke performing The Train And The Gate on German TV in the early 80s.