Thursday, September 03, 2009

10 albums a day #34

The Kingston Trio - Here We Go Again! (1959, LP)
Kraftwerk - The Man Machine (1978, CD)
Kris Kristofferson - The Best of (CD)
Kronos Quartet - Pieces of Africa (1992, CD)
LAW - GA10017 (1975, LP)
Led Zeppelin - IV (1971, LP)
Leo Kottke - Dreams and All That Stuff (1974, LP)
Leon Redbone - Sugar (1990, CD)
Linda Ronstadt - Greatest Hits (1976, CD)
Little River Band - Greatest Hits (1982, cassette)
The Louvin Brothers - Tragic Songs of Life (1996, CD)

Oops, did 11 albums this time by mistake. Oh well.

I already wrote about the Kingston Trio album. I have a few more on the shelf that I haven't ripped yet.

Anyone who is interested in electronic pop music must begin with Kraftwerk. Yes, they looked weird. They sounded weird. It doesn't matter. This is not the only album they ever made, but I think it's the only one I'll ever need.

Kris Kristofferson is an amazing song writer, and I count some of his songs among my overall favorites. I just don't like to hear him sing them.

Kronos Quartet is a string quartet that does other-than-straight-classical music. This is the only thing I have by them, which has music that was influenced by music from Africa.

Leo Kottke is not very well-known, I guess, but
Let me rephrase that. Like the commenter below said, Kottke is a living legend. I already know that. But he is not the kind of name that most people are familiar with in the same way that they are familiar with really famous musical celebrities.* He's a great guitarist and composer. I came across this album used (Yesterday's Warehouse, for those of you who know what that means). Although he does sometimes sing, this album is entirely instrumental.

Sugar is my only Leon Redbone album. Look him up on Wikipedia sometime, it's an interesting read about someone who has managed to keep his private life pretty much completely unknown to the public.

The Linda Ronstadt album was just filling-in-the-blanks. I like her old stuff that was sort of semi-country back in the 70s. I bought the Little River Band tape more or less on a whim and it turned out to have several songs that I really like. They were popular mostly before I started listening to the kind of radio stations that would have played them. About the only song I really remember hearing on the radio back then was "Lonesome Loser." My favorites are "Take it Easy On Me" and "Cool Change."

The Louvin Brothers. Whew. One of the true roots duos of country music (my favorite of theirs is the haunting "In the Pines"), and they sang some truly disturbing songs. Take for example, "Knoxville Girl."
I met a little girl in Knoxville, a town we all know well,
And every Sunday evening, out in her home I'd dwell,
We went to take an evening walk about a mile from town,
I picked a stick up off the ground and knocked that fair girl down.

She fell down on her bended knees for mercy she did cry,
Oh Willy dear don't kill me here, I'm unprepared to die,
She never spoke another word, I only beat her more,
Until the ground around me within her blood did flow.

I took her by her golden curls and I drug her round and around,
Throwing her into the river that flows through Knoxville town,
Go down, go down, you Knoxville girl with the dark and rolling eyes,
Go down, go down, you Knoxville girl, you can never be my bride.

I started back to Knoxville, got there about midnight,
My Mother she was worried and woke up in a fright,
Saying "Dear son, what have you done to bloody your clothes so?"
I told my anxious Mother, I was bleeding at my nose.

I called for me a candle to light myself to bed,
I called for me a handkerchief to bind my aching head,
Rolled and tumbled the whole night through, as troubles was for me,
Like flames of hell around my bed and in my eyes could see.

They carried me down to Knoxville and put me in a cell,
My friends all tried to get me out but none could go my bail,
I'm here to waste my life away down in this dirty old jail,
Because I murdered that Knoxville girl, the girl I loved so well.
I'd like to see Keith Urban cover that one.

Album count: 344.

*Note that I did not say "musicians," which Kottke is. Many musical celebrities are not.

P.S. This post is sure getting a lot of hits. What's going on?

P.P.S. Dear Lee, you bet wrong, and now that I know there actually was a tone of smug condescension in your comment: get a life. I apologize for not being awestruck enough, okay? As for "expert," I'm not. I never said I was. I'm just having fun posting about albums that I have, and I approved your comment as soon as I read it. Since you did not take the time to dig into this blog further before posting your comment, you spoke out of turn. I appreciate all the extra info & links, however. Comments like that save me the trouble of doing it. I do not, however, appreciate your tone of smug superiority in your snug little forum.


  1. Dear Alan,
    Leo Kottke is a legend (better to find out now than later), with 28 principal CDs (live and studio), about a dozen compilations
    and approximately 4,000 solo concerts
    (playing Carnegie Hall in 1972 at 27).
    His career spans 41 years and he is considered by most master guitarists (Tommy Emmanuel,
    Doyle Dykes, Michael Hedges (no longer with us), etc. and guitar authorities to be the most influential steel string acoustic guitarist
    (6 and 12 string) on the planet.

    A measure of his enduring appeal and popularity is that ALL of his CDs are still in print!!
    The following website is a good overview
    of Leo and his career.
    Here is the OfficialLeo Kottke Website:
    Here's a measure of what John Stropes thinks of Leo:
    Lastly, the Unofficial Leo Kottke Website, which has about 20 times more info on Leo than the Official website, even though the webmaster has not kept it up to date for the past
    3 years (too busy):
    One other thing -- Leo loves to sing, and does, but not occasionally. Rather, about half his numbers are vocals -- in a wonderfully deep voice with a wide range.
    In the liner notes of his first major album
    (Six and Twelve String Guitar),
    by way of explaining that it was an
    all-instrumental album, Leo joked that his
    (deep, rumbling) voice "sounds like geese farts on a muggy day", (and then said something like, 'not to worry, there are no vocals here'. That 'throwaway' quote has haunted him ever since. However, his voice is actually perfect for the songs he does, a wonderful counterpoint
    to his incredible fingerpicking skills.
    [To my knowledge, Alan, the only tune
    that could be called 'talking-in-rhythm'
    is titled 'Jack Gets Up', Track 4
    on 'Leo Kottke Live']

    In his live performances, Leo keeps his audience in stitches with his dry, offbeat
    (often to the point of bizarre) sense of humor.
    I hope you enjoy discovering more about Leo.

    BTW, I'm not really anonymous -- I just couldn't find a way to do the 'name/url thing'
    since I don't have a website.

    Lee Smallwood,
    just a Kottke fan from St. Louis, MO
    You wrote:
    Leo Kottke is not very well-known, I guess, but he's a great guitarist and composer. I came across this album [shows CD cover
    of 'Dreams And All That Stuff, 1974]'used (Yesterday's Warehouse, for those of you who know what that means). He does mostly instrumentals, and this album is entirely instrumental. He does sing occasionally, but he doesn't really have much of a singing voice. More of a talking-in-rhythm voice.

  2. Yes, I am fully, completely and totally aware of all that. But if you said the name "Leo Kottke" to most people, they won't have the slightest idea of who you're talking about.

    That's what I mean by "not very well known." He's known among musicians and real fans of music, but he is utterly unknown to the average schmuck-in-the-street who has nevertheless heard of, oh, Madonna, Whitney Houston, and crap like that.

  3. One more thing. Not a single one of the record stores that I visited frequently in three different cities during the early 80s to mid 90s ever carried a single one of his albums. I only found this one in a used book store. You have to understand where I'm coming from.

  4. Alan,
    Here's an email I just sent to :
    As you can see, folks, Yesterday, I sent this acknowledgment of an embarrassing mistake
    to our old LK address, compounding my error of making a 'smug remark
    about Alandp when I thought he wasn't posting my long response on his blog.

    I will send this, along with my sincerest acknowledgment and apology and hope
    for the best.


    From: LeeStLoo
    BCC: LeeOhLeeOh
    Sent: 9/4/2009 4:08:46 P.M. Central Daylight Time
    Subj: Re: Does Talking-In-Rhythm Trump Geese Farts?

    Well, Gail, here's my first opportunity in a long time to eat skip!!
    When Alandp, the blogger took about 2 hours to post my comment,
    I wrote (to the LK group):

    I couldn't let pass the opportunity to spread the word about Leo.
    However, I'll bet that the blogger never posts it, there being room for only
    one 'expert' on his blog.
    No sooner had I posted that to the group than Alandp did post my comment
    and I must therefore 'eat skip'.

    Ah, me,
    Well, that's it, Alan -- not my first faux pas, but certainly
    one of the most embarrassing.
    Lee Smallwood,

  5. Lee:

    Thanks for the reply and I also want to apologize for the snarkiness of my comment. We are both fans of Leo, after all, I just haven't had the opportunity to be exposed to his music as much as you have. I also apologize for the ignorance in my original remarks, and I have updated the post so that I hope it now reflects this. I have heard some of his other stuff that got played on a radio station out of Austin when I used to live close enough to listen to it. I will certainly begin looking into his albums further. Thanks again for the comment with all the information and links.

    All the best,

  6. P.S. I would also consider his "Pepe, Hush" to be more talking-in-rhythm than singing.