|Stereo Review, September 1974|
The Simels Report
By Steve Simels
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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