February 28, 2012
New York, NY
Review by Ralph Greco, Jr.
I double-dog dare you to find a better guitarist than Leo Kottke — go ahead and look for one … I’ll wait.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone better at six- or 12-string acoustic picking, which Kottke proved once again at City Winery on the first night of his two-show run in New
York. Out of all the concert venues in the city — and there are tons of them — this is one of the best to catch an acoustic act, be it a band or solo gig. The combination of acoustics, good wine (made on the premises) and Kottke’s master guitar picking did not disappoint.
From his seated perch on stage, Kottke got off to a blistering start with his 12-string, priming the audience for his hour and a half-long set. As usual, he was in a fun, down-home mood with his laconic stories and self-effacing humor.
This was a night unlike many others for Kottke fans — singing a hell of a lot more than usual, he truly made his famous rendition of “Pamela Brown” a slower, more touching love song than he has in years past.
As he usually does, Kottke switched between 12-string and six-string, but it was his return to the 12 that really brought the house down. A standout performance of “My Feet Are Smiling” featured a signature slide 12-string workout that not many people other that Kottke can actually manage.
I have been lucky as of late to catch some great guitar players¬. Still at the top of their game — while not all technically rock players ¬— guys like Leo Kottke, Jose Feliciano, and B.B. King even, are still bringing it … hard and hot!
On this second-to-last night of the month, Kottke “brought it” in a premier New York hotspot and showed the audience that this master picker remains on top of his game.