Leo Kottke + Leon Redbone
acclaimed Leo’s team up for show at the State Theatre
Musical laypeople are rarely impressed with even the best guitar work. The guitar is so ubiquitous to so many types of music, with so many talented artists out there shredding, plucking, strumming, and picking, that it’s hard for non-musicians to differentiate. But then there are artists like Leo Kottke. Even the musically illiterate, when they listen, cannot fully understand how the human-standard five fingers can produce that many sounds out of a simple guitar. Mr. Kottke has been here before (“I’ve always dug the name Eau Claire,” he explains), but this time Leon Redbone, another master of blues guitar and inter-song banter, will join him. According to Kottke, the two have been touring together for 30 years. “He may be my best friend. He’s certainly the oldest,” says Kottke. Redbone is known for impressive musical accomplishments of his own, including the perennial version of Baby, It’s Cold Outside with Zooey Deschanel (from Elf) and the theme to 80s TV’s Mr. Belvedere, among others. When Leo Kottke and Leon Redbone take the stage, the audience will not only be treated to some outstanding and occasionally incomprehensible musical talent, but they will also witness some true, old-fashioned showmen. Kottke’s banter is delightfully enigmatic, and humor is a cornerstone of Redbone’s shows. When asked about their interaction, Kottke responded, in perfect Kottke fashion, “Backstage we talk about Don Ho and the gold standard, or the vanished gold standard … we both like it.” Just imagine wisdom like that coupled with incredible guitar. Outstanding.
Leo Kottke + Leon Redbone • January 27 • The State Theatre, 316 Eau Claire St. • 7:30pm • $30-$35 • www.eauclairearts.com