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12-String Blues (sub-titled Live at the Scholar), is the first album by American guitarist Leo Kottke, released in 1969.

12-String Blues
12-String Blues.jpg
Live album by
RecordedThe Scholar Coffeehouse, Minneapolis, MN
GenreFolk, blues
LabelOblivion obl-s1
Leo Kottke chronology
12-String Blues
6- and 12-String Guitar



The majority of the album was recorded live at the Ten O'Clock Scholar, a Minneapolis coffee house that had also featured Bob Dylan, Spider John Koerner and Simon & Garfunkel early in their careers. Three of the instrumentals were recorded in a studio. The LP record was a limited edition of 1000 copies, on the Minneapolis West Bank-based Oblivion Records (apparently this is their only album), and it has not been reprinted and/or re-issued on CD. Publishing for the songs was by Symposium Music, same as the publishing and record label for Kottke's third LP. The Oblivion catalog number, "obl-s1," also indicates a possible connection with Symposium.

Most of these songs were re-recorded for Kottke's album, Circle Round The Sun.

Track listing (with Kottke's notes)Edit

All tracks written by Leo Kottke, except where noted.

Side One
1."If Momma Knew" (One of the first songs I wrote. The second actually, around 1962. At the time I considered evil the only virtue worth cultivating.)2:08
2."So Cold in China" (The title lyric and, consequently, the idea for the song were stolen from somebody who sang at the Ontario Place in Washington when John Hurt worked there.)4:06
3."Furry Jane" (There's not much to say about this one. Its origin was in a couple of nightmares, one of which nearly got me.)2:01
4."Circle 'Round the Sun" (The majority of the lyrics are traditional. Another early song.)3:03
5."Sweet Louise"3:17
6."The Prodigal Grave" (This was written in a fit of terror while trying to calm down. It originally contained many more verses which later served only to confuse, so they were discarded.)3:01
Side Two
1."Easter and the Sargasso Sea" (Columbus got stuck in this sea of weeds. There was no wind. Johnny Quest often goes there on business. Consequently resurrection here is not only promising but necessary.)2:28
3."Living in the Country" (Pete Seeger) (Seeger's great contribution to the 12-string. Originally recorded as a guitar duet with Frank Hamilton. Later recorded at high speed with accompanying whistle.)1:21
4."Sail Away Ladies" (John Fahey) (This is John Fahey's arrangement done on Vol.4, Takoma, with Al Wilson and his Veena.)1:47
5."The Last Steam Engine Train" (John Fahey) (Fahey's contribution to steam engines. (Vol.3 Takoma) somewhat augmented and re-arranged.)1:38
6."Long Way Up the River"2:29
7."You Left Me Standing" (In A.) 
8."Mary Mary" (I sometimes think people like to hear this song for the same reason they like to watch accidents.) 


  • Leo Kottke – 6 & 12-string guitars, vocals
  • Annie Elliott – cover design

Copyright Symposium Music, BMI 1969

External linksEdit