Leo Kottke

BOMBYX Center for Arts & Equity (130 Pine Street, Florence MA)

Art + Entertainment + Music + Music/Instruments

Although he once described his voice as the sound of "geese farts on a muggy day," Leo Kottke is best known for his 12-string slide instrumentals and five-finger picking technique. When his career blossomed with the folk revival of the 1960s and 1970s, Kottke earned the early title of "virtuoso"; Rolling Stone described him as "so good that he didn't need a band." Folk great Pete Seeger, who (along with John Fahey) was one of Kottke's first influences, called the young guitar player "the best twelve-string guitarist [he has] ever heard." The inventor of such titles as "When Shrimps Learn to Whistle" and "Burnt Lips," Kottke is known for his self-deprecating, loopy sense of humor and brilliant stage presence. "What happens in the fretboard appears to mirror the sudden ebbs and flows in his thought process," wrote Billboard's Jim Bessman, of Kottke's concert style. "He actually plays guitar like it's a fishing pole, grinning and grimacing as he verges on losing the catch, then reeling it in just when it looks like it's gone for good."