Leo Kottke: Steel string master tunes up at the Tower | Sound Stories & Interviews | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Leo Kottke: Steel string master tunes up at the Tower 

Leo Kottke, the master of steel string makes his way to the Tower Theatre this month.

The demure Midwest finger style guitar maestro makes his Tower Theatre debut this weekend in a performance that the Tower is dubbing, "An Evening with Leo Kottke." It seems a fitting bill for a man whose conversational performances and colorful storytelling seem more suited for a coffee house than a stadium. Perhaps that's because Kottke originally made a name for himself at Minneapolis' Scholar Coffeehouse, near the University of Minnesota campus. It wasn't long before Kottke's signature sound landed him a recording contract in 1969. Kottke used the studio time to record 12-String Blues, which established Kottke as a groundbreaking, if hard to classify, guitar player.
The follow-up album, 6- and 12-String Guitar, remains a watershed moment in acoustic guitar history and one of the seminal recordings in modern acoustic guitar history. Kottke has gone on to record more than a dozen instrumental and folk albums, the latter of which are highlighted by Kottke's soft, narrative-driven vocals. Kottke's off-speed delivery, quirky characters and Minnesota roots make him a sort of acoustic guitar virtuoso version of Garrison Keilor. Similarly, Kottke is best experienced in person, in a setting where the artist can control the pacing and the mood. Like tasting a fine wine, a Kottke show should be sipped and savored because the artist, like a good pinot, has aged well.

An Evening With Leo Kottke

Friday, March 16.7:30 p.m.

Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St.

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