Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Leo Kottke: Buckaroo

Now that I’m back to blogging, I’ve been thinking about a new feature for instrumentals: Wordless Wednesday. Today’s cut finishes off our former Wooden Music Wednesday and serves to introduce the new feature. Last week, I was catching up on some music by Leo Kottke and was reminded of his cover of the Buck Owens and The Buckaroos’ number one country single from 1965.

When Kottke moved from Capitol Records to Chrysalis in 1976, he led off his new self-titled LP with “Buckaroo.” Playing both 12 and 6 string guitars, Kottke breathed new life in this classic that was authored by country musician Bob Morris. Kottke even plays a bit of slide on this version.

Kottke’s rendition is a little faster than Owens’ original and he slightly changed the arrangement – thus making the song truly his own. While all of the other cuts on the LP were composed by Kottke, “Buckaroo” was my favorite. Both the original and Leo Kottke’s version were played in C# - a highly unusual key for guitar. While watching a live video of Kottke playing “Buckaroo,” it appears that he tuned his 12-string a half step lower and is playing the song in D – but it sounds as C#. Neat stuff.

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