Scott Witte

Beginning in 1966 at the age of eight on a mahogany Epiphone, Scott Witte of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, was taken under the wing of an asteroid on the local bar rock scene and given private guitar lessons on the side. High school saw Witte go electric and form a group called the Seventh Circle, but his approach to guitar was permanently altered after he picked up a copy of the Fahey/Kottke/Lang album. He enrolled at the Milwaukee Conservatory under the auspices of studying flamenco guitar. Using money from his father and his factory job making outboard motor fuel, Witte recorded his debut album in 1980. No small fan of Lang and Kottke, Witte chose Minneapolis’s Sound 80 studio for recording, mixing, and mastering Sailor’s Dream. The title track displays Witte’s most accomplished finger work, building and billowing at a rapid-fire pace on a flat-top Mossman Tennessee 12-string.

Witte was aware of the self-determination of Fahey and his peers, but he also knew that there was little chance a label would release his recordings. Without a reputation or even a local following, he pressed up Sailor’s Dream on his own Piggy Rooster label. Sold live from the stage and on consignment to a handful of Milwaukee record shops, the album was just barely available in Witte’s home state. Shortly after the record was pressed, Witte moved to Santa Monica, California, in hopes of attaching himself to the state’s burgeoning interest in New Age. He wound up as a disc jockey for a community radio show and frequently used copies of his own failed album as a promotional giveaway. Scott Witte continues to write and play, recording his sophomore album in 2007 after a brief 27-year break.

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