Stereo Review, September 1974

The Simels Report
By Steve Simels

"Ramblin' On"


      Continuing in this high-class classical vein, I can also report that I got a very pleasant surpise at Procol Harum's recent New York performance at the Felt Forum.  The band, as always, was impeccable, but at the finish Gary Brooker announced "We have a special guest... Mr. [Leo] Kottke, the master of six- and twelve-string guitars."  And out he ambled.  (He had been the opening act, and in fact I had atttended the concert with my fingers crossed, having read that Leo and the Harum had toured Europe together and developed a little mutual admiration society.)  He had a tough time tuning ("Close enough for jazz," Brooker told him at one point), but he finally got it right, and what do you know --- they sounded great together.  He plucked out the opening to "Power Failure"*, and then the band came in, altering the rhythm slightly to fit Kottke's folk strum, and it  was simply gorgeous; the twelve-string filled out their already stately sound magnificently.  They seemed to be enjoying theselves, and I can't help hoping that something concrete comes out of this; perhaps they should back him on his next record, or he could guest on one of theirs.

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