Mike Gordon by Tony Stack
Acoustic guitar virtuoso Leo Kottke and erstwhile Phish bassist Mike Gordon will release their second collaboration, SIXTY SIX STEPS, August 23rd on RCA VICTOR. Two of the most imaginative and mold-breaking musicians on the planet, Kottke and Gordon follow up their first collaboration, CLONE, with an album that pays homage to and is an experiment loosely involving island rhythms.

Along with Rolling Stone, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Guitar Player, Relix, The Chicago Tribune and many others, Downbeat raved "Kottke's syncopated finger picking is brilliantly concise and fully compatible with Gordon's rhythmic bass, giving the collective sound an intricate, bouncing feel that's musically and technically marvelous."

Seasoned with the buoyant rhythms and freewheeling spirit of the tropics, SIXTY SIX STEPS is not literally a calypso album but one that uses the calypso feel as a touchstone. Rehearsed in Costa Rica, Kottke and Gordon recorded the album at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas, with CLONE mixer David Z (Prince, Johnny Lang) and were joined by Neil Symonette, Nassau's quintessential session player and renowned house drummer at Compass Point.

SIXTY SIX STEPS is a mixture of originals and interpretations performed in ways that are vaguely familiar yet largely without precedent. For instance, you'll find a cover of Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" sung in a deadpan monotone and performed on baglama (a Turkish banjo / mandolin type instrument), guitar and bass. Then there's a twisted Gordon original, "Stolen Quiet" which professes mock gratitude for a partner's exodus from their shared abode. An equally offbeat Leo Kottke original, "Balloon" features such lines as "When the raccoon steals the cheese behind Pandora's other box/Or the one you love is shopping for a helmet made of rocks/Balloon, balloon, balloon...."

Kottke, Gordon and Symonette formed a tight alliance that will exist beyond the sessions for SIXTY SIX STEPS. The trio is currently on a 10 date tour, which includes headlining dates and festivals such as the High Sierra Music Festival.

The three will embark on a nationwide tour this fall, marking the first time Kottke has toured and performed onstage with a drummer.

[Published on: 6/28/05]

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