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18

FRIDAY

Unlike his contemporary and one-time collaborator John Fahey, Leo Kottke has forged a living playing his acoustic six- and 12-string guitars with the sort of eye-popping aptitude you tend to expect only from jazz musicians and guys in heavy metal bands. While Kottke is openly neurotic, his relatively stable mental health and inexhaustible devotion to his craft have helped him maintain a theater-size audience in almost every major city in the country. Kottke’s 24th and latest release, Standing in My Shoes, is a worldbeat exploration that, thanks to David Z’s production, comes off like an electrified version of the Ali Farka Toure/Ry Cooder collaboration, Talking Timbuktu. Kottke’s a better singer than he thinks he is, but following opener Iris DeMent, an expressive songbird with pipes like a lonely train whistle, he might be better off if he just sticks to picking. At 8 p.m. at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. $25.75. (202) 994-6800. (BA)