Leo Kottke/Mike Gordon



by Badmoon USER (65 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 3 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Together the two, would compile fourteen tracks into one, rather fresh contemporary, fun album. They would also produced the album entitled Clone together with Paul Dugre. The duo would also play all of the instruments heard in the album. Some rather odd instruments included would be a cake pan, and condor played by Leo. And a skull flute, played by Mike. Though many other, more obviously instruments were used, as I said before, those were the more lesser scene ones.

Leo Kottke, who is commonly known as the greatest acoustic guitarist ever, and sometimes even one of the greatest guitarist ever. Never caught fame in the mainstream. His career revolved around Folk. Not the commonly referred to and known Folk, like Bob Dylan, but more Contemporary Folk like Joan Baez. Which has a more boring, but interesting side. Contemporary Folk isn't necessarily Political either, it can simply be about the times. Which a lot of Folk is. Take my word for it if you must. He is an unbelievable, extraordinary guitarist.

Mike Gordon, most commonly known as the bassist of the Jam Band Phish, has just as much of a role Clone as Kottke does. His talent for great lead bass playing, and great rythmic bass playing, really shines on this album. Though, he doesn't use pop, slap skills, like he does in such Phish songs as "Ghost", he does manage to get the job done extraordinarily well. Overall, Mike is hugely underrated bassist, he can probably match up, or can even take commonly known great bassists like Flea.


Here's a perfect intro track. It has a happy sense to it. The song is an instrument and runs at a short one minute and twenty five seconds. Though it lacks length, it is still a great number, and quite nice to listen to. 4/5

Car Carrier Blues

"Car Carrier Blues" includes a very nonchalant feeling to it. I believe Kottke sings this track, and Gordon wrote it. The bass lines are very strait up, and the guitar is played in a hyper like way, with a good amount of muting. The solo Leo throws in is a fantastic one. It has some great finger picking, and is just overall nicely done, and it shows some great skill coming from Kottke. 4.9/5

From Pizza Tower to Defeat

This Blues song, has a fantastic flow to it. Probably the best flow on the album. Kottke sings lead, and obviously Gordon sings backup, along with Kottke. Around fifty seconds in both musicians start soloing. Suprisingly it the dual solo sounds fabulous. It's not common that two different instruments played by two different musicians can both solo and get a great overall sound. The chorus is quite catchy, but it use to get on my nerves, but now I of course love it. Great song 5/5


Without a doubt, "Clone" would be my favorite track on the album. Gordon both wrote it, and sings it. It is easily seen that the song slightly resembles a Phish song, no need to explain why. The lyrics are sang quite rapidly, and have some humor to them that may not be intentional, but none the less makes me laugh. The song is of course about a man's clone. The clone starts ruining the man's life, so the man desposes of the clone. The music is great also. It has a great flow, and the guitaring a fabulous, and so is the bassing. Definitely a highlight on the album. 5/5


The Collins Missile

This track has a more beautiful/happy feeling to it. The song does have some humor in it, and is kind of pointless. So, it was obviously written by Mike :p. The track is completely sang in unison, and includes some odd noises in the recording. And the use of the skull flute by Mike. As it states in the albums booklet. Overall, compared to the rest of the album, "The Collins Missile" is just simply mediocre, but still great. 4/5

Te Veo

Here's an interesting piece. "Te Veo" is bass led, and supported by Leo's guitar playing, which I believe he uses a slide on. Just for your information, "Te veo" means I see you, in Spanish of course. So, overall the track is pretty good, and easily listenable. 4/5


"Disco" of course really has nothing to do with the 1970's dance genre Disco, and is a great song. The playing is probably the best of the album, by both Mike and Leo. Each musicians plays in a rapid, technical manner, and both almost out do each other at different points in time in the song. Leo gives off quite a catchy riff, and as usual Mike builds upon it, and just helps make this track phenomenal. Without a doubt this track deserves a 5/5


"June" is just okay, compared to many of the other tracks on Clone. Though, at about one minute and ten seconds in it does break into a fantastic catchy probably Latin influenced break down. Luckily the song includes part, other wise it wouldn't be that great. 3/5

I am a Lonesome Fugitive

The musical portion of this song, slightly reminds me of "Uncle John's Band" from Workingman's Dead, which if of course by The Grateful Dead. The song is written (As the booklet says) by Clarence S. Anderson and Elizabeth J. Anderson. Kottke does sing the song, and does do a great job of it. There isn't much more to say. The song is just a little better than okay. The song also does have some electric played over the two acoustic. Probably played by Leo. Pretty good Country feel also. 3.9/5


"Clay" has, sort of a Psychedelic sense and feel to it. Which is very odd for Leo, and slightly odd for Mike. The vocals are probably the main reason why the song has the sense, but Leo's erie leading riff adds on to it. Mike supports all the happening with a great bass line that slightly changes every little while. Interesting track, and definitely the oddest on the album. 4.9/5


"Strange" has a nice lively feeling to it. The guitar playing is done great, and Mike also does a fantastic job. Occasionally you the listen, should turn up the bass if you have the option, being that Mike's lines are sometimes hidden under Leo's playing. The song is short, but definitely isn't a filler. Well, if it is, it still is a great filler. 5/5

Middle of the Road

This number like many others by both Gordon and Kottke is Spanish influenced. So, the influence just adds to the respect I have for each musician. It slightly shows the knowledge of different genres and styles of music they have. Once again, musically the song is great and only does good for the album. Leo does a great job on the leading vocals, and Mike does a great job backing him. Each player's playing is fabulous, but I think Mike is the stand out player on this song. He does give off a nice truth solo, and just does great. Great number 5/5


This track is just simply a sort of lively instrumental, like many other songs on this album. Mike plays lead, and Leo plays rythm obviously, but they do occasionally switch tempos and change it up. Pretty great track. 4.4/5


Here is a great flowing track sang by Mike and written by Mike and Joe Linitz. The song is a love song, but not a cheesy love like some crap Barry Manelow song, but a love song with a good amount of wit to it. Needless to say the music is done extraordinarily well. And none the less it is a great closer, and one of my favorites on the Clone. 5/5

I'm giving this album a 5/5. I bought a second copy a few days ago (My first broke). It seems to amaze me with every listen. Definitely a underrated album, and one that brings Folk to a different crowd. The Jam Band crowd, being that Mike is of course from Phish. I recommend Clone to all :)

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Dark Hero
July 3rd 2004


Great Review :thumb: i've heard nothing but good things by these guys, I'll have to pick this one up.

July 28th 2004


good review good album

July 16th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

I love this album, so much. So breezy and laid back. Good calm down music. The vocal harmonies and folky playing is to die for.

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