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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.

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