An Evening with Leo Kottke
- September 15, 2021
- Buskirk-Chumley Theater
- 114 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47408
- (812) 323-3020
- 8:00 PM
Acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke was born in Athens, Georgia, but lived in 12 different states during his childhood, an experience that exposed him to a variety of influences during his musical development. He flirted with both violin and trombone, before abandoning Stravinsky for the guitar at age 11.
After a stint in the Navy, he settled in the Twin Cities area and became a fixture at Minneapolis' Scholar Coffeehouse, which had also been home to Bob Dylan and John Koerner. He issued his 1968 recording debut LP Twelve String Blues, recorded on a Viking quarter-inch tape recorder, for the Scholar's tiny Oblivion label. After sending tapes to guitarist John Fahey, Kottke was signed to Fahey's Takoma label, releasing 6- and 12-String Guitar (also known as "the armadillo album", after the animal pictured on its cover).
Kottke's 1971 major-label debut, Mudlark, positioned him somewhat uneasily in the singer/songwriter vein, despite his own wishes to remain an instrumental performer. Still, Kottke flourished during his tenure on Capitol, as records like Greenhouse, My Feet Are Smiling, and Ice Water found him branching out to include more guest musicians and honing his guitar technique.
With 1975's Chewing Pine, Kottke reached the U.S. Top 30 for the second time, while also gaining an international following thanks to his continuing tours in Europe and Australia.
A prolific songwriter and recorder, he did take a few breaks from recording and touring. One return to the spotlight was the result of his collaboration with Phish bassist Mike Gordon, Clone, which caught audiences' attention in 2002. Kottke and Gordon followed up with a recording in the Bahamas called Sixty-Six Steps.
Kottke has been awarded two Grammy nominations; a Doctorate in Music Performance by the Peck School of Music at the U of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; and a Certificate of Significant Achievement in Not Playing the Trombone from the U of Texas at Brownsville with Texas Southmost College.
The doors will open at 7:30pm for this reserved seating performance. There will be no opening performer.