Masters of restoration and repair
Restoring Leo Kottke's Gibson J45
This Gibson J45 was used on many of Leo Kottke's early recordings including the infamous “6 & 12 String” album released by John Fahey's Takoma Records in 1969. The restoration involved resetting the neck, refretting and repairing multiple loose braces. Leo is known for tearing his pickguards off and this J45 was no exception. This guitar was especially exciting for Denny to work on as Leo is one of his all time favorites. Like many others Denny spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out the tunes on 6 & 12 String with miserable results. "Slowing the record down didn't really work". It's probably hard for some younger folks to imagine but in the 1970’s there was no sheet music available for Leo Kottke’s tunes and certainly no youtube to watch. Fortunately, along came John Stropes and in collaboration with Leo Kottke in 1986 he put together a fantastic music book “Leo Kottke Eight Songs” transcribing Leo’s wonderful tunes. Today you can find many great finger-style tunes transcribed by John Stropes as well as an annual workshop teaching featuring Leo’s tunes.