The Leo Kottke Connection

Photo by Tom Berthiaume




ECLECTIC Various artists "Sounds of Wood & Steel." Windham Hill. 15 tracks. Grade: B+.

"Sounds of Wood & Steel" is one of those albums that makes you wonder why someone hasn't done this sooner. The acoustic guitar compilation is a valentine to the instrument and a tribute of sorts to the late guitar great Michael Hedges, who died in December. It's a good mix of some of the genre's top performers and musicians not primarily known for guitar work. Among them, Clint Black keeps it simple on the bluesy standard "The Claw," while Kathy Mattea and Bill Cooley contribute "Into the Night," a brisk duet with a pleasing backbeat. Among the heavy hitters are Hedges' "Java Man," an intricate, layered number. Proving that less can be more, Leo Kottke, often called "the guitarist's guitarist," beautifully captures the essence of fingers against strings with the minimalist "Jesus Maria."

Copyright 1998, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, All rights reserved.
WEEKEND AT HOME: THE LATEST IN MUSIC, VIDEOS AND BOOKS., The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 03-19-1998, pp G04; G04.