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Arts & Culture

Leo Kottke On Mountain Stage

Leo Kottke performs on <em>Mountain Stage</em>.
Leo Kottke performs on <em>Mountain Stage</em>.

In his nearly four decades of recording and performing, Leo Kottke has set the highest standard for acoustic finger-picked guitar. In his 10th appearance on Mountain Stage since 1990, Kottke still wows with his dexterity and musicianship, which are just as sharp as his well-maintained sense of humor.

His observations on performing are always funny and insightful; "The reason people screw their face up when they're playing is because they're worried," he says to big laughs from the crowd gathered in Charleston, W.Va.

"The height of musicianship is the ability to play in an empty room," Kottke opines before kicking off "Living In the Country," a long running staple of his live shows. "But much more difficult than an empty room is an indifferent room. It's better if you're despised than invisible-ised."

If you're already a fan of Kottke's music, then you'll find a lot to love in this set. If you're unfamiliar, it's also a great introduction. His most recent recordings include a 2005 duo record with Phish bassist Mike Gordon called Sixty SixStepsand his 2002 solo record Try And Stop Me.

SET LIST:

  • "Flat Top"
  • "Living In the Country"
  • "Airproofing"
  • "From Pizza Towers to Defeat"
  • "Four Cents"
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