Finally a musician, who truly honors the contours of a melody, and in the compositional process, explores every musical genre. With only a guitar and a lifetime he can take you places you have never imagined. His astonishing instrumental virtuosity, combined with unbounded creativity and grace, has led him to be voted Best Fingerstyle Guitarist four yeas straight (1993-1996) by the readers of Guitar Player Magazine. Legg is, without exaggeration, one of the finest guitar players alive. Few artists can cover such a spectrum of music on one instrument.
Born in the Salvation Army Hospital on Lower Clapton Road in Hackney, East London, Adrian Legg is truly a Cockney, with English, Irish, Jewish and French Antecedents. As a child he studied classical oboe, but gravitated to the guitar as rebellious adolescent hormones kicked in. Since then, Adrian has played smoke-filled pubs of Liverpool, the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival and toured with Nanci Griffith, Tanita Tikaram, David Lindley and as part of the G3 Tour with Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson and Steve Vai.
Legg has earned a remarkable collection of awards. In 1990, his first album Guitars and other Cathedrals was released; an album whose unprecedented technical manner and broad sense of style immediately perked up the ears of guitar fans everywhere. Since then, Adrians career has been a whirlwind of activity. His CD Wine Women and Waltz was selected by the readers of Guitar Player magazine as Best Overall Guitar Album in the 1994 Readers Poll; Guitar for Mortals and Mrs. Crowess Blue Waltz each earned Best Acoustic Album in 1992 and 1993, respectively, in the same readers poll, and to top it off, readers of Englands Guitarist magazine voted Legg Acoustic Guitarist of the Decade in the magazines 10th anniversary readers poll. Adrian has also written three teaching videos, Beyond Acoustic Guitar and Fingerpicking & Open Tunings (both on Hotlicks) and How to Cheat At Guitar (Home Spun). Books include the technical, Customizing Your Electric Guitar (Music Sales Corporation) and the musical, Pickin and Squintin (Cherry Lane Music), a collection of Leggs guitar compositions in tablature and standard notation.
In spite of the praise Leggs recordings garner, he is really at his most remarkable when he is playing live, where his humor is fully apparent, especially his gift for verbal wit and wisdom. Legg uses his considerable comedic skills to overcome the communication obstacles that an instrumentalist faces. For Legg, the live experience is more than a by-product of music making. Playing live is the be-all and end-all the whole point he insists. Its an immediate, transitory thing. You play something and its gone. Thats it. In that moment you communicate. His sharp humor and deadpan delivery have also lead to another forum, as commentator-at-large for National Public Radios All Things Considered, and more recently, regular listeners will have heard his guitar versions of the shows theme tune.
From the outset his albums have been critical favorites, showcasing his intricate and elegant blending of country, jazz, folk, rock and classical influences. After a three year creative sabbatical since his last album Fingers and Thumbs, we are once again blessed with a new guitar project from Adrian Legg, entitled Guitar Bones. Adrian returns to simpler roots with this release, featuring solo fingerstyle tracks, the majority of them recorded using an English-made parlour size acoustic and simple miking techniques with a minimum of production. Two tracks in particular, Old Friends and Ghosts In The Hills, stretch playing techniques beyond normal fingerstyle limits and lay down some stiff challenges emotional as well as technical for Leggs contemporaries and successors.
Like all genuine originals Adrian Legg is tough to categorize. ---Todd Allison, acousticmusicresource.com
Adrian Leggs 8t CD, Guitar Bones is released on Favored Nations Acoustic on January 28th of 2003.