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    Sunday, April 14, 2024

    The glorious duality of Kottke

    Leo Kottke (Amy Kerwin)

    There are two types of fans of the acoustic guitarist/songwriter Leo Kottke.

    There are those who love his whimsical country, folk, jazz and blues tunes and his dry, self-deprecating — sometimes truly odd — onstage wit.

    And then there are those folks I like to call the Technique Heads, for whom the songs are mostly delivery systems for Kottke’s almost indescribable ability as an six- and 12-string instrumentalist. He utilizes baffling fingerpicking dexterity and shape-shifting chord patterns that seem almost intimidating in the context of what a human can physically do. It’s rather like watching those nature videos of hummingbird wings that have to be in slow motion for us to comprehend it.

    Beautifully, Kottke makes it damned easy to appreciate both aspects of his work, which, presumably, he never meant to be dissected in this fashion to begin with.

    In any case, see the magic Saturday in Westerly’s United Theatre.

    Leo Kottke, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, United Theatre, 5 Canal St., Westerly; $40; unitedtheatre.org.

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