It was during those early college days, as my roommate and I were just starting to feel each other out. Discovering how much we had in common (and also, not); what we liked and disliked (musically, ideologically, liturgically, snack-food-wise, etc.); negotiating how to best mesh our schedules and habits and tendencies. He was an extreme morning person, for example. And I was/am not. (I’d heard of Extreme Mornings before, of course, but thought they only existed in fairy tales.) He regularly suffered from insomnia; I, unintentionally cruel, could drop off at a moment’s notice. But it worked; wonderfully so. And this discovery was a perfect example.
I was returning from some forgettable errand when it happened. I walked absent-mindedly into our small, moderately clean dorm room, and this hit me in the face.
Right between the eyes.
We’ve been friends ever since.
In the decades since, the 22-track Essential Leo Kottke has become one of my most reliable musical “comfort foods,” always reminding me of those four crazy-but-unforgettable years. The sound of his voice always brings a smile to my face. And his instrumental tracks still amaze me: a mind-blowing combination of dazzling technical mastery and soothing melody. Great stuff.
In the hopes that I’m not the only one gladdened by his music, here’s a Friday uplift for y’all — the Les Barricades Mistérieuses-esque ”The Fisherman.”