Leo Kottke – Home & Away Revisited

Leo Kottke – Home & Away Revisited / 2006 MVD / 106 Minutes / http://www.mvdb2b.com /

Leo Kottke is another of the long string of individuals that I had not heard before getting this DVD. This video intersperses songs and stories, so that individuals can both be wowed by Kottke’s own innovative style of music as well as the stories that took place behind the scenes. For the fans of Kottke, this is a re-release of the 1990 video that bore this title, along with a few other addition features. One thing that should immediately wow viewers is the sharpness of this transfer. There are little in the way of artifacts, and the sound is captured perfectly.

Through this DVD, individuals can be shocked by the quality of guitar work of Kottke, but there is little doubt that viewers will not find some commonality with the axeman. This is not the elitist, “holier than thou” attitude that is present throughout much of the classical guitar players (Satriani, for example), but Kottke makes an attempt to work on the level of the viewers throughout. Individuals that want a full song may not find themselves quite as enthralled with Kottke’s music, but should still stick with the disc. This is because Kottke’s lines on this video are so solid and full of life that individuals can move beyond the need for drums and vocals; the guitar does everything a normal band does and more. For the individuals that wish to pick up some of Kottke’s style, there are a number of shots present on “Home & Away Revisited” that focus right in on Kottke’s left hand (which actually shows the chords that comprise Kottke’s tracks). When Kottke does insert vocals into eir own tracks (for example, during “Everybody Lies”), the result is something that blends pop and classic country so well that folkies and Cash-heads alike will be floored by the interplay between vocals and guitar.

While individuals in the current music scene may not be necessarily cognizant of Kottke, anyone who is a guitarist or the arranger of songs can learn a lot from watching “Home & Away”. The disc is 90 minutes, but the density of the tracks that Kottke lies down here is so much that individuals will continually be rewinding and fast-forwarding the DVD until they have some semblance of how Kottke does it time and time again. There does seem to be a few cheesy, staged constructions between the tracks (for example, when Kottke is looking through records at a store), but this is only the most minor of complaints considering the level of quality present on this DVD. With these live tracks sounding as impressive as a studio recording, one can only wonder how amazing the actual studio recordings of Kottke have to sound. “Home & Away Revisited” is a DVD that is equally fulfilling for fans of Kottke, musicians, and audiophiles alike. The video may be older, but the music and visuals are as warm as they were when the VHS of this was first released.

Rating: 7.2/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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