As more and more music is born of digital synthesizers and programmable microchips, Leo Kottke is a reassuring reminder that there is music without silicon. The droll, boyish-looking guitarist performed Saturday at the Warner Grand Variety Arts Theater in San Pedro, a refurbished 1,500-seat movie theater built in 1929 that has begun to offer live entertainment.
Kottke's 80-minute set introduced several songs from his forthcoming "A Shout Toward Noon" album and was weighted even more than usual toward instrumentals--in fact, he sang only once. But like Ry Cooder and Mark Knopfler, Kottke creates such powerful imagery through melody, counterpoint, harmonic overtones, interior chord construction, rhythm and volume that words seem superfluous.
The Warner's Art Deco interior provided a warm setting for Kottke's folk music.