LIVE: Leo Kottke @ The Egg, 3/7/15

March 23rd, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg

Leo Kottke

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

There are good guitarists, and there are great guitarists. Then there are guitar players who are somehow able to completely re-invent the instrument and what it can do.

Leo Kottke is one of those guitar players, as he proved once again in concert at The Egg in Albany earlier this month…

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LIVE: Leo Kottke @ The Egg, 3/4/11

March 7th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Sara

The audience at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre was having another giggle fit when Leo Kottke let us in on a little secret: “I’m having a better time than you are.”

I suppose that’s possible, though I’m not sure how. Aside from being one of the best purveyors of “wooden music” on the planet, Kottke is also one of the funniest acts you’ll ever see, with or without an instrument. The legendary acoustic guitarist’s off-kilter, between-and-sometimes-mid-song monologues can bring you close to tears, and he had many of us laughing that laugh that just keeps on going until Kottke plays a line or a figure that’s so heart-stoppingly beautiful. Then we had stop laughing because we were too busy sucking in as much sound as our ears could manage.

Kottke describes his serial gregariousness as wanting to be like “the lounge singer who’s playing ‘Feelings’ for the thousandth time and still can’t get it right, but he can have a conversation over his shoulder with someone while he does it.” Mostly, Kottke’s jokes and stories are designed to fill time until he figures out what he’s going to play next. “I don’t have a set list,” he explained. “There’s nothing worse than one guy on stage knowing exactly what he’s going to do!”

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Leo Kottke, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

February 28th, 2011, 11:02 am by Greg

Leo Kottke“The first album I bought was probably a recording of Villa-Lobos music by Laurindo Almeida, and it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear. Back then, I detested the sound of classical guitar. I thought it just sounded bland and colorless, although I’m actually quite fond of it now. Anyhow, that was the first.

I think the second record – and they were the only two guitar records I could find, and I had to go into Oklahoma City to find them because I was living in Muskogee, but my trombone lessons brought me into Oklahoma City – was called ‘Flamenco Fire.’ It must have made Sabicas want to die because on one side was Sabicas and on the other side was Carlos Montoya, who, well, let’s just say that he was less than highly regarded by flamenco players. And they screwed with Sabicas on that record, too, adding a rooster to one piece on the record. In the middle of this song, suddenly you hear a rooster crowing. What were they thinking?

I got something from both of those records, though. With the Almeida album, I just knew that that wasn’t where I wanted to go. And the flamenco record, well, I couldn’t begin to conceive of what they were doing.”

Guitar virtuoso and innovator Leo Kottke heads into The Egg in Albany for a two-night stand with performances at 8pm on Friday and Saturday. Tix are $34.50.

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