Analogue Productions - AAPF 1024-45 - 200 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Limited Edition - Pressed at QRP Quality Record Pressings
Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering
AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
"Best-ever sound on vinyl." from a rave review of Leo Kottke 6 & 12 String Guitar by Franz Schoeler in Germany's Stereo magazine, May 2015
Recorded in just three and one-half hours, the release of this truly iconic album virtually launched Leo Kottke out beyond the St. Paul, Minneapolis confines where he had been ensconced as a local phenom. By jumping on board John Fahey's burgeoning Takoma label, Kottke's guitar wizardry (especially finger-picking a 12-string, usually reserved as rhythm accompaniment) gave other guitarists far and wide, second thoughts. Throw in some sassy slide work on both 6 & 12 and you'll know why this particular record is commonly referred to as an Intro to Guitar 101. With twelve original compositions plus a few by some guy named J.S. Bach, Kottke's blues, folk, country and classical channelings dictate both his playful and reflective approach on each. Highlights include blazing picking techniques on Broken Bicycle and Vaseline Machine Gun with some muscular bottleneck slide work on The Sailor's Grave On The Prairie.
Leo Kottke's wide-release debut came about after he sent a cassette to John Fahey's Takoma label. Not suprisingly, it recalls Fahey's work in a number of respects: the synthesis of numerous influences from blues, pop, classical and folk styles, the weirdly titled instrumentals, even the tongue-in-cheek liner notes.
Kottke's brand of virtuosity, however, is more soothing and easy on the ear than Fahey's. It's far from sappy, though, the rich and resonant picking intimating some underlying restlessness, like peaceful open fields after a storm.
Establishing much of the territory Kottke was to explore throughout his career, this release was also one of his most popular, eventually selling over 500,000 copies.
6- and 12-String Guitar is just Kottke playing his steel string Gibson, no other instruments and no vocals. It was recorded in a makeshift studio in a single session, and as Kottke says "I just sat down and played all the music I knew". With the exception of Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, all the music was written by Kottke himself.
But what playing! This is virtuosity on par with Paganini and his violin, from the meditative Ojo to the hair-raising Vaseline Machine Gun. The fingerwork is intricate, whirlwinds of sound coming from the guitar, an infectious mix of energy and ideas.
And the Bach is the best version of Jesu I know of for any solo instrument. I am amazed that a non-classical musician can capture the restraint and quiet mood of this well-known chorale.
Simply that good music comes in many flavours. A master of any trade is something to be appreciated, and Kottke is a master of his rather unique field. Expand your horizons, take a chance. Or as Sam I Am says in Dr Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham “Try it, try it! You may like it”!
For decades, Leo Kottke would inspire generations of fingerpicking acoustic guitarists (and help pave the way for New Age and contemporary instrumental music), but this 1969 album is the one that started it all. Kottke's brilliant debut was released, fittingly, on John Fahey's Takoma label. Showing the influence of Fahey himself (and Takoma labelmate Robbie Basho), Kottke performs impossibly difficult solo compositions that meld blues, bluegrass, and jazz techniques. Whether surefooted and quick ("The Driving of the Year Nail," "Jack Fig," "The Fisherman") or slow and reflective ("Ojo," "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"), Kottke's instrumental work is simply awe-inspiring. He'd forge an entire career out of this music and eventually incorporate singing onto his albums, but this gem is Kottke at his very best. Essential."
1. The Driving of the Year Nail
2. The Last of the Arkansas Greyhounds
4. Crow River Waltz
5. The Sailor’s Grave on the Prairie
6. Vaseline Machine Gun
7. Jack Fig
9. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
10. The Fisherman
11. The Tennessee Toad
12. Busted Bicycle
13. The Brain of the Purple Mountain
14. Coolidge Rising
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