Recordings:  Try and Stop Me (2004)

Inner Jacket (cover)
Inner Jacket (page 1)
Inner Jacket (centerfold)
Inner Jacket (page 5)
Inner Jacket (back)
CD Insert (back)
Track Listing

With Leo's notes...

  1. Monopoly

    This is a take on a tune of mine from another label, another guitar, another time. Another title might be "Death by Repetition."

  2. Stolen

    First turned up as a harmony to "Doc's Guitar" when I recorded it sometime in the 70's, I think. It's a fun platform and plays itself when needed.

  3. Mockingbird Hill

    I used to hear this on the farm report at dawn when I was a boy, then when I was not. Patti Page had a way of turning strange little songs into strange little anthems. I don't know how this tune works on the guitar but it wouldn't work if I sang it.

  4. Then

    I was in a little diner-type joint in the middle of nowhere, a greasy spoon in the Trinity Mountains, when two guys walked in and stunk the place up. One of them never spoke, or didn't speak for a long, long time. Since we were the only three people in this place, which was big enough for two, and since these two stunk, I didn't wonder why one of them couldn't place his order. His buddy ordered for him. But I wondered what the smell was. It was not repellent but was particularly peculiar. After a long wait in the gathering bouquet, the silent one said, "Then..." We all snapped to attention. But if he had anything else to say we'd have to wait. And the diner would be gone. And the woods. And time. Only the bouquet would remain, floating like a vapor on the summer air.

  5. Mora Roa

    This is not Hawaiian, it is baseball.

  6. Axolotl

    As the photographer reminded me, an axolotl was used as a margin glyph by the early Mad Magazine. The axolotl occupied something of the same place as Oat Willie did a decade later, in a different publication. When not on stage the axolotl is a North American amphibian that mates in its larval stage, retaining external gills in adulthood. Maybe it should do that on stage.

  7. Bristol Sloth

    According to Fox and James ("The Even More Complete Chess Addict; " Faber and Faber), Elijah "The Bristol Sloth" Williams introduced the concept of "sitzkrieg" into chess at a London tournament in 1851. Taking more than two and a half hours per move he wold [sic] bore his opponent to death. (Not trying to speed the Sloth but I want to mark his achievement. At least he could play.)

  8. Unbar

    A few years ago, John Williams, Paco Peña, Joe Pass and I had been booked to play the Adelaide Arts Festival and to share the stage. We were asked to play something together at the end of the concert and refused. What could we do? But the pressure kept coming so Joe finally said, "Let's just play a 12-bar blues." And John and Paco said, "What's a 12-bar blues?" So Joe said, "Leo, play some of that stuff." So I played. And Joe said, "That's not a 12-bar blues!" So we played "Ave Maria," instead. I didn't know how to play that either.

  9. Jesus Maria

    I first heard this on a recording by Jimmy Giuffre. I keep trying to get it right. It is a kind of a take on an arrangement commissioned from Tim Sparks of Guiffre's arrangement of Carla Bley's composition. I think. This piece may have originally been written for trombone. I think.

  10. Gewerbegebiet

    My father's parents, August and Augusta, spoke German as their native language. But not if I was around. I was small enough (so I thought) to hide behind the plants, the conch shell, the summer sausage, and listen to these mysteries. I was hearing Silesia where they'd both grown up. Later I'd hear it again when my father sang at Christmas. I learned that the Germans have done for the consonant what the Hawaiians have done for the vowel. To an English speaking monoglot like me, "gewerbegebiet" is a masterpiece of the language. Mahalo.

  11. The Banks of Marble

    Les Rice was a farmer in the Northeast when he wrote this song, recorded by the Weavers in 1949. I met his niece (apologies if I've got the relation wrong) in Boulder just a couple years ago. This song was my introduction to the 12-string when Pete Seeger recorded it on "Gazette, Volume 1" for Folkways. A couple years ago I imposed on the kindness of Los Lobos and wound up in the studio with them, recording this tune. You may notice a sound like Scrooge McDuck stomping through his vault - that's Louie Perez punching a bag of drum keys across the floor. I don't want a bank but I still have a twelve-string.

Liner Notes


Many thanks to Los Lobos for the music. And to Darby Conley (for "Rondo a la Buck"), Rich Dworsky, Taylor Guitars, Hoffman Guitars, Rainsong Guitars.

This music is dedicated to the memory of Lawrence Kottke: "Baseball is the only sport you don't have to be in shape in to play."

Production Notes

Engineered by Sam Hudson
A&R: Larry Hamby
Mixed by Sam Hudson and Paul du Gre'
Recorded at Studio M, St. Paul, Minnesota
Except "The Banks of Marble"
Recorded with Los Lobos by Paul du Cre' at Sunset Sound, Hollywood, California
Produced by Steve Berlin and
Recorded by Paul du Ore
Mastered by Paul du Gre
Photography: Brad Palm
Design: Bill Merryfield

All songs by Leo Kottke, Published by Round Wound Sound, ASCAP except - "Mockingbird Hill" Writer: Horton Vaughn (Cromwell Music c/o Richmond Organization, ASCAP), "The Banks of Marble" - with guest musicians Los Lobos Writer: Les Rice {Stormking Music Inc., BMI), & "Jesus Maria" Writer: Carla Bley (ALRAC Music BMI) Los Lobos appears courtesy of Hollywood Records.

Release Date:  June 22, 2004
Bluebird (BMG Music) 82876-60645-2

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