Cory Recommends: “Why Can’t You Fix My Car” by Leo Kottke

I’m an unabashed Kottke fan. I’ve got every album he’s ever released including 1969’s “12 String Blues” of which only 1000 were pressed on the fittingly named Oblivion Records. I’ve seen him in concert with my Dad every year since 1993.

The reasons I’m recommending this song is simple. In a tune just shy of two and a half minutes, Kottke perfectly captures the quotidian frustrations in our work-a-day lives. It’s a ditty we can all identify with. We just want the damn thing to work so we can get on with it.

Kottke is a master of the acoustic guitar. He is not, by comparison, a compelling vocalist. He famously compared his own vocal style to goose flatus on a muggy day. His albums tend to be either just him playing the guitar or full of vocal pieces and backing instrumentation. My Father’s Face, the album which this comes from, is in the second category.

When Kottke works within his vocal range, as he does with this tune, you can tell he is having a lot of fun. This track is a perfect introduction to what Kottke does with vocal pieces.

There is an accordion (or maybe a concertina) in the mix of this song for reasons I don’t fully understand, but it works. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised as in a different song he plays a pie pan. Eclecticism, Leo is thy name.

(Song recommendation by Cory Funk)

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