Though Leo Kottke's sole T.O. appearance at the Bathurst Street Theatre in 1988 is a jaw-dropping guitar clinic on fingerpicking, the real fun here comes with the interspersed vignettes of Kottke just doing his thing. Between soulful instrumentals, the dude drives his sputtering hatchback through the Minnesota countryside, pondering the meaning of life while cursing 'asshole drivers,' then whittles guitar frames in his basement workshop in quiet solitude. The Bathurst Theatre performance is brilliant, showing off his six- and 12-string virtuosity and his charming persona and self-deprecating, Seinfeldesque observations. Kottke seems genuinely content with life; when he gets a chance to jam with heroes Chet Atkins and Doc Watson during a photo shoot, he positively beams at his good fortune. The film ends with him suiting up for a lake scuba dive. It may seem a little odd for a closer, but considering his quirks, it kinda makes perfect sense.
Leo Kottke plays the Trinity-St. Paul's Centre June 10.