Leo Kottke, a legendary master of fingerstyle guitar playing and Mike
Gordon, a neo-hippie bluegrass junky, converge on a sometimes whimsical,
sometimes heart-attack serious album in Clone. From the moment the
first track Arko seeps into your subconscious, you merely become a slave
to the musically absorbing masterpiece. The two jump between lovely
acoustic guitar and bass duets, solo pieces by Kottke himself and a
handful of stranger-than-fiction vocal tunes.
The highlight of the album, from an all encompassing perspective is the
second track - Car Carrier Blues. The bluesy feel and funk underline
the lyrics which question just how safe it is to drive behind a behemoth
car carrier. "The car up there sliding, off them car carrier blues..,"
allows you, as a listener to slide on into the rest of a spectacular
Track nine - I am a Lonesome Fugitive - seems an autobiographical
representation of Kottke's self-reliant musical career, but Kottke, a
master of his own dimension, warmly welcomes Gordon's empathetic style.
The Merle Haggard favorite is the only cover on the album and all other
tracks were written and composed by the two artists while recording in
Trey Anastasio's Vermont barn. The intimacy of the barn setting really
shines throughout the entire album and allows for the listen to feel
like a fly-on-the-wall in the comfort of two amazing players.
It's this intimacy that paves the way for Clone's warm vibe and loose
feel, don't be fooled-twisting melodies and syncopated grooves are
behind nearly every corner. The only disappointment with this album is
that because of Kottke's independent nature, a clone of Clone looks out
of the question.
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