Leo Kottke

If turkey, sweet potatoes, and cranberries are dominating every menu in sight, it must be time for Leo Kottke's annual ramble into town for his Thanksgiving week concert, for years his sole concession to hometown fans. Kottke, of course, is an internationally renowned fingerstyle guitarist, long ago a protégé of John Fahey, well established as an eccentric fretboard genius. Mostly instrumental, mostly solo, Kottke's material deftly embraces folk, classical, jazz, and pop, combining with his supreme facility on the instrument and occasional dazzling bursts of speed to create a style that can only be called Kottke-esque. He's even been caught singing from time to time, in a decent baritone that he nonetheless often disparages. And he's notorious for a deadpan, fundamentally surrealist sense of humor frequently illustrated with a reference to waterfowl flatulence, which he's undoubtedly sorely sick of at this late date. Kottke's once prolific recording career has lagged in recent years, but he's also gotten more creative in assembling these turkey toots. This year's guest will be Robert Barto, a master lute player raised in California, long based in Germany, and an expert on Baroque composers, and lutenists Silvius Leopold Weiss and Joachim Bernhard Hagen. Esoteric? Sure, marvelously so. And also great for helping digest yams and dressing.(Photo by Anthony Pepitone)
Mon., Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m., 2010

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