Leo showed up with his 2 Taylor guitars; one 12 string and one 6 string. He ran both guitars into a Countryman direct box. Leo chose not to use any stage monitor at all, preferring to hear the sound reflected from the house system. Sound check was short and easy, not taking any adjustments at all to get his guitars to sound excellent through the house system. He also brought his own Shure Beta 87 vocal condenser mike, which sounded as good as any vocal mike could. We were done inside of 5 minutes, then he had a nap.
Due to scheduling conflicts, I have only been able to do sound for Leo Kottke twice out of the past 4 or 5 times that he has been in the area. Each time his show would come along, I would find out about it too late to be able to change the other shows I had already committed to do. So it was a thrill to be able to work with him for the second time.
His guitar technique is second to none, his songs are unique, his outlook on life has a little spin to the left. He also has a great singing voice, very low and with a lot of character, so I was a little disappointed that he didn't sing more songs than he did.
I always believed that the way you could tell a professional from an amateur is that the professional makes it look easy and sound great. Well, Leo Kottke is a real professional. It is amazing that all that sound comes from 5 fingers and 6 (or 12) strings. He has a variety of styles, and makes good use of his wry sense of humor. His songs are truly inspired, and often witty. Leo told little stories in between (and sometimes during) numbers. Michael (the managing director of IMAC) calls these little stories Kottke-isms. Nobody else could come up with these things.
He played 2 sets of about 45 minutes each, some old songs, some new songs, and left the audience going wild at the end of the show. He was kind enough to hang around after the show, sign autographs, and schmooze with the fans. Nobody left disappointed! Catch his show if he's in your area. You won't be sorry.
Check out these Leo Kottke recordings:
More Leo info at Leo Kottke Home Page...
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