Recordings:  One Guitar, No Vocals (1999)

Album Cover
One Guitar, No Vocals
Track Listing

1.  Snorkel  3:24
2.  Morning is the Long Way Home  4:25
3.  Too Fast  5:10
4.  Three Quarter North  3:19
5.  Retrograde  3:07
6.  Chamber of Commerce  3:38
7.  From Little Treasure  1:57
8.  Bigger Situation  9:26
9.  Accordian Bells  5:59
10.  Peckerwood  2:51
11.  Blimp  3:26
12.  Even His Feet Look Sad  4:00

Leo's Liner Notes:

     I was taken to my first concert when I was eight years old.  It was a Spike Jones concert in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  I was a violin player and had never heard of Spike Jones; Spike was a stuffed and grinning head, atop a tablecloth suit, who conducted a virtuoso novelty band that played plumbing fixtures, elbow pipes and so forth.  I remember heraing "All I Want for Christmans is My Two Front Teeth," and something about Katchaturian's swords.  I think there was a solo by a guy playing a lint trap.

     But I was offended.  I was mortified.  I was a violin player...and an eight year old Cheyenne.  I was wondering how long this travesty in the school gymnasium would go on, when a guy came screaming from out of nowhere, and ran across the stage with a clarifnet through his head;  I had only one thought in mine: "I want to be him!"

     I did a radio interview in Madison last year with a 12 year old girl named Clara; she asked me if I knew, when I was a kid, that I would be performing and playing when I grew up...yes, I knew.

     In 1968, I sat on a rock near a quarry in St. Cloud and wrote the liner notes for my first instrumental record.  My buddy Dale was diving in the quarry and telling me that below about ninety feet the quarry stank, that the chemicals growing in there seeped through your mask.  In the notes, I decide that I'd died somewhere around the ned of the civil war, and I reminisced about what seemed more likely:  the facts surrounding the tunes.  Dale, an unlicensed diver with a rusty tank and a CSA* regulator, continued exploring the bottom of the quarry.

     When he left the quarry, I learned that Dale also stank, and that tunes write themselves; connections with people or trees are coincidence, and music is as non-human as Dale's wetsuit. It reminds you of stuff, you dress it in experience, and you introduce it as if it were human, but it's good-bye to all that.  It all a clarinet.

1. Snorkel (3:24)

Written in Sydney while my hotel room was flooding.

2.  Morning is the Long Way Home (4:25)

Originally a vocal with an instrumental break.  The break is better than the vocal, and here it's re-recorded for the first time, and in its most recent incarnation.  The title is something fatheaded about transfiguration...a coincidence.

3.  Too Fast (5:10)

Too fast.

4.  Three/Quarter North (3:19)

From Alan Sharp's movie, "Little Treasure."  This piece apppears in the movie in four/four; but as a duet with Randy Kerber, on a record for Private Music, it's in three/four.

5.  Retrograde (3:07)

Somewhere int he early seventies, Jerry Springer was the mayor of Cincinnati.  He came to the club I was palying, the Agora, walked on stage and gave me the key to the city.  In the fifties, Cincinnati was the home of Big John and Little Sparky; earlier, it was the birthplace of commercial radio.  When Big John's wildly popular kids' show was taken off the air, when kids stopped listening, he continued to record the show in a tiny production studio.  He was alone; but when he speeded up the voice on the tape, he had Little Sparky to talk to.

6.  Chamber of Commerce (3:38)

I was upset.

7. From "Little Treasure" (1:57)

From Alan Sharp's movie.  In "Ulzanna's Raid," a different movie, an army scout explains to an army officer the sources of  Ulzanna's cruelty.  I asked Alan how he wrote this beautiful speech and he said, "Oh, I made it up."

8. Bigger Situation (9:26)

With Rickie Lee Jones producing, this was recorded as "Big Situation."  Here, it's transmogrified, and it's mortised by two other bits from other records.  A satisfying piece to play, it took this long to discover it's [SIC] form.  Some things do change, and very slowly.

9.  Accordian Bells (5:59)

A Christmas song.  Open the paper, the accordian paper, and it's a bell...or a pumpkin, if it's Halloween.

10.  Peckerwood (2:51)

The dictionary defines this word as "white trash."  The third definition is, "Woodpecker, in the south."  The second definition is, "poor white trash."

11.  Blimp (3:26)

My first love song.

12.  Even His Feet Look Sad (4:00)

This comes from Whitney Balliet's piece on Pee Wee Russell.  After a three year absence, Mr. Russell had returned to his wife.  She hid from him in the kitchen of the club where she was working; but another waitress told her she ought to talk to him, saying, "Even his feet look sad."

*Confederate States of America

Production Credits:

All tracks written by Leo Kottke and publichsed by Round Wound Sound, Inc., administered by BUG Music (ASCAP) except "Three/Quarter North: and "From 'Little Treasure'" published by Sony/ATV Tunes LLC (ASCAP)/TASP Music (ASCAP), all rights adminsiterd by Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Recorded by Sam Hudson at Hudson-Forester Sutdios, Minneapolis, MN Mastered by Doug Sax at Mastering Labs

Management: Chucik Morris Entertainment, Denver CO

A&R: Larry Hamby

Artist & concert information:
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Art Direction:  Sonny Mediana Design: A to A Graphics/NYC Photography by Michael Wilson

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