Jade Presents has announced a November 22 date at the Fargo Theatre for two-time Grammy nominated acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke. His unique playing style and his collaborations with have won him widespread acclaim.
Kottke was born in Athens, Georgia, but raised in 12 different states. He absorbed a variety of musical influences as a child, flirting with both violin and trombone, before abandoning Stravinsky for the guitar at age 11.
After adding a love for the country-blues of Mississippi John Hurt to the music of John Phillip Sousa and Preston Epps, Kottke joined the Navy underage, to be underwater, and eventually lost some hearing shooting at lightbulbs in the Atlantic while serving on the USS Halfbeak, a diesel submarine.
In 1964 he settled in the Twin Cities area and became a fixture at Minneapolis’ Scholar Coffeehouse, which had been home to Bob Dylan and John Koerner. In 1968 he issued his recording debut LP Twelve String Blues. Kottke’s 1971 major-label debut, Mudlark, positioned him in the singer/songwriter vein, despite his own wishes to remain an instrumental performer.
Kottke flourished during his tenure on Capitol, as records like 1972’s Greenhouse and 1973’s live My Feet Are Smiling and Ice Water found him branching out with guest musicians. With 1975’s Chewing Pine, Kottke reached the U.S. Top 30 for the second time. His collaboration with Phish bassist Mike Gordon, Clone, caught audiences’ attention in 2002. Kottke and Gordon followed with a recording in the Bahamas called Sixty Six Steps, produced by Kottke’s old friend and Prince producer David Z.