A two-time Grammy nominee, legendary acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke is known for his signature fingerpicking style drawing from blues, jazz and folk music and his syncopated, polyphonic melodies. Widely recognized as a master of his instrument, he has collaborated on records with legends such as John Fahey, Chet Atkins and Lyle Lovett, and is a frequent guest on radio variety show A Prairie Home Companion.
After Kottke’s 1971 major-label debut album Mudlark, he became somewhat uneasily categorized in the singer/songwriter vein, despite his own wishes to remain an instrumental performer. Still, despite arguments with label heads, Kottke flourished throughout the 1970’s with albums like Greenhouse, My Feet Are Smiling, and Chewing Pine. Kottke’s powerful technique and prolific touring and recording schedule resulted in consistent pain in his hands, forcing him to cut back on his performance schedule, but he continued to develop a strong cult following with virtuosic recordings over the following decades.
In 2002, Kottke’s collaboration with Phish bassist Mike Gordon, on the album Clone, caught audiences’ attention and the collaboration continued with an island music inspired album entitled Sixty Six Steps.