One Guitar, No Vocals
Leo Kottke has always been known primarily as a guitarist, yet it has been a number of years since he's released a solo guitar record, which is what makes One Guitar, No Vocals welcome. Kottke is at his most impressive at his most intimate, turning out alternately gentle and intense solo guitar pieces. No matter how complex the music is -- and it is, at minimum, moderately complex -- Kottke pulls it off with grace, making it all seem easy. And that's the curious thing about One Guitar, No Vocals: The music is calm enough to function as background music, yet it reveals much more when examined closely. Of course, that's the key to all of Kottke's best work, and while this album isn't as exciting or revelatory as his earliest records, it's still a joy to hear a master at the top of his form.