The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.
Bob Boilen | October 21, 2020
It's been 15 years since the legendary guitarist Leo Kottke put out a new recording, and it's no coincidence that his new music is with Phish bassist Mike Gordon. The two have a history of making albums together, but that hit a hiatus in 2005 with their Sixty Six Steps project. They're back with a 2020 album, Noon, and Phish drummer Jon Fishman joins the duo. And while they're miles apart for this Tiny Desk (home) concert, Leo at Creation Audio in Minneapolis and Mike and Jon at Tank Recording Studio in Burlington, Vt., there's plenty of humor and spirit traversing the wires.
They begin with what fans of Leo Kottke fell in love with 50 years ago, the sound of his acoustic guitar fingerpicking. Mike Gordon punctuates the opening song "Flat Top," which at moments feels like a musical chase. Jon Fishman is a tasteful addition. Mike and Jon have played over 2,000 shows together, so there's telepathy there. Still, he also finds ways into the music that isn't merely rhythmic; he adds aural atmospherics with brushes in hand. There are some fun visual tricks but — musically speaking — not a moment of trickery. Just pure magic.
"The Only One"
"I Am Random"
Leo Kottke: acoustic guitar, vocals
Mike Gordon: bass, vocals
Jon Fishman: drums, vocals
Edited and Directed by: Eli Tishberg
Videographers: Nate Ryan and Bruce Gibbs
Music Produced by: Jared Slomoff
Audio Engineers: Rob O'Dea, Miles Hanson and Steve Wiese
Production Assistants: Gretchen Bedard and Sam Gibbs
Recorded and filmed at Creation Audio (Studio A), Minnesota and Tank Recording Studio, Burlington, Vt.
Producer: Bob Boilen
Audio Mastering Engineer: Josh Rogosin
Video Producer: Maia Stern
Associate Producer: Bobby Carter
Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann