Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 11 Sep. '45, Athens GA) Guitarist, songwriter, singer; excellent acoustic guitar playing, ironic and often humorous lyrics ensured long-term cult following. Began on guitar at eleven; lived in twelve different states. First LP Twelve String Blues '69 on Oblivion made in Minneapolis coffee house; Circle 'Round The Sun on Symposium; instrumental Six And 12-String Guitar on Takoma (see John Fahey) sold several hundred thousand copies (reissue on Rhino). Signed with Capitol for Mudlark '71, Greenhouse '72, live instrumental My Feet Are Smiling '73, Ice Water '73, instrumental Dreams And All That Stuff '74 (best chart showing at no. 45) and Chewing Pine '74, with bass and drums. On Chrysalis: instrumental Leo Kottke '76, Burnt Lips '78, Balance '79 (with piano, bass and drums by producer Kenny Buttrey), Live In Europe '80, Guitar Music '82, Time Step '83. Severe tendonitis slowed him up for a while; he now plays less percussively and without a thumb pick. On Private Music: A Shout Toward Noon '86 with cello and synths followed by Regards From Chuck Pink '88, My Father's Face '89, That's That '90, Great Big Boy '91 prod. by Steve Berlin, more laid-back Peculiaroso prod. by Rickie Lee Jones (he played on her Traffic With Paradise album). Leo Live and Live both made '95 in Boulder CO on On the Spot; Standin' In My Shoes '97 was laid- back, despite being prod. by ex-Prince sidekick David Z, with three Kottke vocals and a guest spot from Chet Atkins. Compilations incl. Leo Kottke 1971--1976 -- Did You Hear Me? on Capitol; later Essential on Chrysalis; The Best ('73--8 tracks) on Beat Goes On, who reissued Balance as well; more Capitol reissues on One Way.