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  • 6 & 12 String Guitar
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6 & 12 String Guitar

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Audio CD, April 2, 1996
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 2, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Takoma
  • ASIN: B000003Z91
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,797 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Driving Of The Year Nail
2. The Last Of The Arkansas Greyhounds
3. Ojo
4. Crow River Waltz
5. The Sailor's Grave On The Prairie
6. Vaseline Machine Gun
7. Jack Fig
8. Watermelon
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

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

6- and 12-String Guitar is the second album by Leo Kottke, a solo instrumental steel-string acoustic guitar album originally released by John Fahey's Takoma Records in 1969.

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. --Jason Verlinde

Customer Reviews

Leo Kottke is one of the best 6 string 12 string guitar musicians out there.
I am just astonished by the brilliance of his playing and the fact that I hear something new everytime I listen to this CD.
The dexterity, fretboard mastery, and overall ability demonstrated by Leo Kottke on this album is stunning.
King OCD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
No one--and I mean no one--has produced a more stunning debut in any genre than Leo Kottke did with 6- and 12-String Guitar. And even more amazing, consider Kottke's comments from the liner notes in Anthology: "We didn't know about sequencing, so the record [6- and 12-String Guitar] is in the order it was recorded...The record took three-and-a-half hours to do, and all I had to do was sit down and play everything I ever knew." This is 36 minutes and 38 seconds of genius. I'm willing to bet that Kottke ended many a would-be guitarist's career. [How could you listen to this album and expect to compete at the same level?]
Kottke can play achingly beautiful melodies like on the original "Crow River Waltz" or Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" and then turn around and dazzle you with with the speed and brilliance on tunes like "Busted Bicycle" and "Vaseline Machine Gun," (a tune he revisited on 1997's Standing in My Shoes).
While Kottke does possess a wonderful baritone voice and has worked with additional musicians, on this outing Kottke lets his guitar do all the talking--and it speaks with an authoritative voice.
This album was originally released on John Fahey's tiny Takoma label. While Kottke and Fahey are frequently mentioned in the same breath, Kottke's guitar style has always been easier on the ear. Over the last 30 years, Kottke has been responsible for some of the most innovative and beautiful solo guitar music. Here's where it all began. ESSENTIAL
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The sounds on this magnificent album have stayed with me for many years. I've probably played it a thousand times and I never get tired of it. In my opinion, this is the best album Leo Kottke ever made, and Driving of the Year Nail is quite simply the greatest acoustic guitar instrumental ever. I'm so glad that it's the first track because once you hear it, you'll be pulled in to this album's magical universe. If you only own 1 Leo Kottke album, make it this one.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By spiral_mind on June 18, 2002
Format: Audio CD
..for listeners, that is. For musicians it would be more like Advanced Guitar 490. If Robert Johnson hadn't already cornered the deal-with-the-devil legend thirty years previously, the superhuman playing on Leo Kottke's debut might well have prompted the same speculation even though there's no "Crossroad Blues" within earshot. The insane fingerpicking heard here gives the same "are you sure that's not *two* guitars?" sound as RJ while integrating some of his traditional blues, a good helping of rustic country, a lot of America's rich bluegrass tradition, and even a classical adaptation. And Leo did it all when he was 24. It boggles the mind.
In a short 37 minutes Kottke thrums, picks and twangs through a variety many others wouldn't match in two hours - slow ballads, bouncing hoedowns, and ripping fast tunes that'll leave guitarists of any skill level with their heads spinning. I don't just mean the hyper frenzy of, say, "Vaseline Machine Gun" or "Driving of the Year Nail" (although those two do blaze like he's a man possessed), but the way he plays counterpoint to himself, building different rhythms on top of each other all at the same time. That warm, easy voice we hear on other albums doesn't show up yet, but there's so much going on here that there's no room for any singing anyway. This disc is to folk/country what Kind of Blue is to jazz and what Led Zeppelin IV is to rock and roll. It's been a source of inspiration (and extreme frustration at times) for countless other guitarists for the last 32 years, and somehow the awe surrounding this record still hasn't faded. Am I exaggerating? Listen and decide for yourself. You may never listen to an unplugged guitar the same way again.
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Format: Audio CD
I've listened to a lot of Leo Kottke over the years, both in concert and on record, and this has continued to be my favorite of all his albums. There are two reasons for this. One is that he frequently has recorded with backing musicians. The problem with this is that no session musician has anywhere near Kottke's virtuosic skill and no group of musicians provides an especially interesting setting for his music. The second reason is that Kottke has increasingly sung on albums. Now, I don't dislike Kottke's singing and I think his own description of it as resembling the sound of a goose emitting gas is more than a little harsh, and I thoroughly enjoy some of his covers, such as his wonderful rendition of Tom T. Hall's "Pamela Brown" and the Byrds' "Eight Mile High" (the latter in part homage to the second most celebrated 12-string player in the history of rock). Although he has recorded some fine albums--and even his weakest albums have some good moments--this one for me really stands out. No other recording puts his astonishing talent on display so purely. The story is that Kottke developed his style by learning to emulate the playing of Les Paul, without realizing that Paul laid down more than one guitar track. Perhaps the story is pure myth, but there no denying that Kottke frequently sounds as if he were playing two or even three guitars at once. But apart from the complexity of what he plays, there is also the amazing fact that he frequently does it on a 12-string guitar. I'm a decent finger picker (I'm not an especially good guitarist, but I'm a good finger picker and he makes me sound like I am better than I am), but when I've tried on a few occasions to attempt my rather simple picking on a 12-string, I find it nearly impossible to do so.Read more ›
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Dumb Question
Yes, I think Leo did all of this in 1 take. I've seen him live and he can do things that are seemingly impossible on a guitar, at least in real time. He can play slide with one hand and pick with the other. I think even Hendrix would have been impressed!
Jun 14, 2012 by D. Chrischilles |  See all 3 posts
I was unable to rip tracks from this CD in Itunes. Is it copy protected? Be the first to reply
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