Leo Kottke 1973


Leo Kottke 1973, hand-drawn in studio with his 1965 Martin D12-20 modified ten string (Florentine Cutaway), age 28 at The Sound Factory Hollywood, CA. in 1973.
Kottke modified this Martin by adding the cutaway on the body and replaced the original neck/fretboard/headstock. He cut the top off of the headstock so it only had room for 10 tuners.

The first time I saw Leo Kottke, I was a freshman at Michigan State University and saw his live performance (front row – center) at McDonel Kiva, MSU in East Lansing, MI on June 1, 1973.
I was blown away. I think I paid 4 bucks for the ticket.

Kottke is an acoustic guitarist. He is known for a fingerpicking style that draws on blues, jazz, and folk music, and for syncopated, polyphonic melodies.
He overcame a series of personal obstacles, including partial loss of hearing and a nearly career-ending bout with tendon damage in his right hand, to emerge as a widely recognized master of his instrument.

Focusing primarily on instrumental composition and playing, Kottke also sings sporadically, in an unconventional yet expressive baritone described by himself as sounding like “geese farts on a muggy day”.

In concert, Kottke intersperses humorous and often bizarre monologues with vocal and instrumental selections from throughout his career, played solo on six and twelve string guitars.

Growing up in Oklahoma, Kottke learned to play trombone and violin before trying the guitar and developing his own unconventional picking style.
A mishap with a firecracker permanently damaged the hearing in his left ear, a condition that would be exacerbated by exposure to loud noise during firing practice while he served in the United States Navy Reserve, when the hearing in his other ear was also damaged.

After being discharged, he chose to hitchhike around the country, busking for a living, before finally settling in the Twin Cities.
There, he recorded his debut album, 12-String Blues, which was released on the independent Oblivion record label in 1969.

He recorded 6 and 12-String Guitar (also known as the “Armadillo album”, after the animal pictured on its cover) for John Fahey’s Takoma Records later the same year (1969).
The album was recorded in one afternoon, in exactly the running order of the album. Most tracks were done in a single take. Kottke doesn’t even pause when a string breaks (audibly) on “The Sailor’s Grave on the Prairie.”
Kottke states, “The record took three-and-a-half hours to do, and all I had to do was sit down and play everything I ever knew.”

It remains one of the works most closely associated with Kottke and has been re-released many times on various record labels.

In all, Kottke has recorded 21 studio albums. He has been married to his wife Mary, since 1969 and has two children Sarah and Joe and still lives in Minnesota.

#LeoKottke, #ArmadilloAlbum, #12StringGuitar, #MusicArt, #PaulKing, #PaulKingArtwerks, PaulKingArt.com

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Weight .25 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 20 × .25 in
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