Leo Kottke

That's What

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Leo Kottke has always been a highly idiosyncratic guitar player whose music is infused with his wry sense of humor. That's What is no exception, with Kottke's guitar work drawing from jazzy, blues and folk sources. Four of the tunes feature electric guitar, with some lively electric and string bass by sideman Billy Peterson, who also contributes touches of percussion, synth, piano and, on one piece, Farfisa organ. There are two vocal tracks: "Buzzby" is a typical Kottke absurdist slice-of-life vignette sung in his gravelly Tom Waits-style voice, while "Husbandry" is a bizarre beatnik rap, featuring sound effects and a scraping violin, about the relationship between a "slightly objectionable" 60-year-old woman and "a four day cloud in a pick-up truck" who has a dog who bursts into flames. Tying it all together is Kottke's fine guitar playing, as nimble and as quirky as ever.

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