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One Guitar, No Vocals

Leo Kottke

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Album Review

Leo Kottke has always been known primarily as a guitarist, yet it has been a number of years since he's released a solo guitar record, which is what makes One Guitar, No Vocals welcome. Kottke is at his most impressive at his most intimate, turning out alternately gentle and intense solo guitar pieces. No matter how complex the music is — and it is, at minimum, moderately complex — Kottke pulls it off with grace, making it all seem easy. And that's the curious thing about One Guitar, No Vocals: The music is calm enough to function as background music, yet it reveals much more when examined closely. Of course, that's the key to all of Kottke's best work, and while this album isn't as exciting or revelatory as his earliest records, it's still a joy to hear a master at the top of his form.

Customer Reviews

One of the great instrumentalists of our time

I have trouble rating this album....4 or 5 stars? It is not his best known album, but it is still a great album by one of the greatest living guitarists. Some of the songs are worth the price of the album on their own, like Accordion Bells, or particularly, Even His Feet Look Sad. Most solo acoustic guitarists owe a debt to this man. Just as Segovia made classic guitar a respected concert instrument, Leo has been a significant voice in making steel string guitar a great instrument to be taken seriously on its own. There are others, like Chet Atkins, but Leo reinvented the instrument more than most anyone has. One can hear folk roots, bluegrass, classical, the occasional flamenco lick, jazz, you name it. He can do it all, and put it in a package that one keeps coming back to as I have for many listenings over the years. There are very few musicians who can come out on a stage with just a microphone and a guitar and captivate an audience --he is also funny as hell. He is the real thing.

Biography

Born: September 11, 1945 in Athens, GA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Innovative acoustic guitar virtuoso Leo Kottke was born September 11, 1945, in Athens, GA. Raised in 12 different states, he absorbed a variety of musical influences as a child, flirting with both violin and trombone before trying his hand at the guitar at age 11. After developing a love for the country-blues of Mississippi John Hurt, Kottke lost much of the hearing in his left ear as a result of a mishap...
Full Bio

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