Half Notes: Leo Kottke – Great Big Boy/Peculiaroso (1991/1994, reissue)

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by Mark Saleski

I already owned 1991’s Great Big Boy, and it’s a fine one. The album was allowed to go out of print for the usual reasons (which I won’t waste our time on), only to reappear in a likeably presented two-fer in 2007 with Peculiaroso from 1994, which I’d never heard. If you don’t own any Leo Kottke, you’re in for a treat — fantasic acoustic guitar playing, Leo’s homespun vocals, and the funniest liner note anecdote ever: “My earliest memory is of water. I was submerged in it. I had stepped off a dock into Clark Lake. Before my Aunt Rui jumped in after me I had time to hit bottom — the lake was about three feet deep — and look around. A bubble had formed around my head and I could breathe in it. I was two and a half. I learned this much: adults could not breathe underwater, but a child could do anything. About four years later, I held a paper bag above my head and jumped off a roof. Instantaneously, I reached full speed and slammed into the ground. I learned this much: adulthood begins at six.”

Half Notes is a quick-take music feature on Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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