Personnel: Leo Kottke (6- & 12-string guitar, vocals); Cal Hand (dobro, steel guitar); Bill Barber (piano); Bill Peterson (bass); Bill Berg (drums, percussion).
Liner Note Author: John Tobler.
Not quite a solo album, as are earlier Leo Kottke classics like SIX AND TWELVE STRING GUITAR and MUDLARK, 1974's ICE WATER adds minor backing but keeps the focus on Kottke's brilliant guitar playing and endearingly rough, understated vocals. Looser than some of his earlier records, ICE WATER ranges from the playful Tom T. Hall ballad "Pamela Brown" and oddball story songs like "Tilt Billings and the Student Prince," to haunting originals like the dazzling opener "Morning Is the Long Way Home."
Kottke's voice is an acquired taste, but the simple arrangements and clean production wisely don't try to sweeten the songs or the performances. The results sound like a classic early Neil Young album crossed with Leadbelly at his most experimental.