Nashville Scene Critic's Pick …
A guitarist influenced by the expressionistic approach perfected by John Fahey, Leo Kottke is a folkie with a sense of humor. Throughout his career, Kottke has cut his percussive, self-mocking guitar style with intelligently chosen covers. Not a great singer, Kottke possesses a highly reassuring voice, and it could be that his singing undercuts his virtuosity in just the right manner. I’ve always liked his 1972 album Greenhouse, which sports a version of the hymn “In Christ There Is No East or West,” along with covers of songs by Paul Siebel and Fahey himself. As an instrumentalist, Kottke is formidable — he combines the hard-edged approach of country blues guitarists with harmonic savvy. Still, it’s his impeccable taste in outside material that I treasure: If you dig into his catalog, you’ll find his lovingly eccentric takes on compositions by Carla Bley, Procol Harum and Tom T. Hall.