Music » Livewire

Leo Kottke

Friday, March 16, at the Kent Stage (Kent).


Since his 1969 debut, Leo Kottke has developed into an intricate and fluid acoustic guitarist. He has also become an informal philosopher and teller of tales. On and off stage, Kottke rambles like an eccentric uncle, telling stories about "Ally Oop," sleeping on submarines, and giant ukulele players.

He is focused, however. The typical Kottke tune is a pleasant melody on top of lightning-quick finger picking -- like a rambling brook that looks peaceful from afar, but full of playful tadpoles and minnows below the surface. Kottke says, "I was just reading that music does something to water, something to its crystalline this-or-that. And apparently, water responds when it's bad music, because something draining happens to its structure. Humans are about 70 percent water. Conductors live a long time. We all must go to many, many concerts. It's good for us."

Lately, Kottke has been jamming with former Phish dude Mike Gordon. Although Kottke performs solo tonight, he'll surely tell the story about how Gordon and he saw a raccoon steal their cheese out of their refrigerator in Costa Rica.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.