Kottke was born to play guitar; he taught himself at age 12 while from both a bout of mononucleosis and his sister’s death. Kottke quickly developed an amazingly percussive style that involved a dazzling flair for fingerpicking and a complex sense of melody, evidenced by some of his beautiful compositions (“Blue Dot,” “Mona Ray,” “June Bug,” “Bean Time,” “Busted Bicycle,” “Circle ’Round the Sun”) and wildly wonderful cover interpretations (“Louise,” “Pamela Brown,” “Power Failure”).
Beyond his superhuman guitar skills (which Kottke has had to adjust to compensate for tendonitis), he possesses a droll, disarming stage presence, often launching into strange, hilarious and sometimes touching monologues. Leo Kottke is God’s gift to guitars.
LEO KOTTKE plays Thursday, Feb. 23 at the 20th Century Theater. For more on LEO KOTTKE, read Sound Advice here.