Leo Kottke is the undisputed master of the 12-string guitar. Reviewers have tried to categorize his music for decades. It draws on blues and folk traditions but transcends those genres in the inclusion of pop, jazz, country, and classical elements. One reviewer simply called him a “pop virtuoso.” Although he is known for hard-driving instrumentals, he also sang with a rich baritone voice, which he self-effacingly described
as “geese farts on a muggy day.” A bout with tendonitis caused him to reinvent his approach after having established a distinctive voice on the instrument. This medical problem forced him to quit the 12-string for a time, but he resumed again once Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars built him 12-string to his specifications. Kottke, now in his seventies, remains a national treasure. Enjoy these clips.