Melody Maker, January 6, 1981

Record Review:  Guitar Music

      Guitar Music is an album as rich as its title is accurate.  It's Kottke's first solely acoustic album since the legendary Six and Twelve String Guitar in 1969.  In feel, it's reminiscent of his first eponymous Chrysalis album of four years ago, but stripped of Jack Nitzsche's orchestrations.

      Like his other fret mate John Fahey (whose own Live In Tasmania album is long overdue), Kottke is an acoustic guitarists par excellence.  He's an efficacious player whose innate ability with the instrument speaks for more eloquently of his talent that the amplified pyrotechnics of his contemporaries.

      Guitar Music has seven Kottke compositions, two Ry Cooder songs ("Available Space" from Cooder's first album and the unrecorded "Perforated Sleep"), one from the famous C&W band the Sons Of The Pioneers ("Tumblin' Tumbleweeds") and the Everly Brothers "All I Have To Do Is Dream."

      Ten minutes of side one is dedicated to the laconically titled Kottke composition "Side One Suite," which features some spellbinding mood playing from Kottke.  But all the tunes are stamped with that inimitable Kottke style, which makes the beautiful melodies sound so effortless in their performance.

      It's a soothing, contemplating album that confirms Leo Kottke as a master of his craft.  -- Patrick Humphries

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