The Unique Fingerstylings of Adrian Legg

Globally acclaimed by critics & fans alike for his unique acoustic & electric fingerstyle guitar playing, Mr. Adrian Legg masterfully blends diverse musical styles, influences & inspirations to create a distinctive sound all his own. With multiple awards and accolades spanning 4 decades, he has been heralded as a “guitarist of astonishing virtuosity, (whose) imagination and melodic invention seem unbounded,” (Q magazine); “ridiculously talented,” (Music Week) and “simply the best acoustic guitar player I’ve ever heard.”(guitar icon Joe Satriani). But there’s even more to Adrian Legg’s draw as an engaging, one-of-a-kind performer. Described by Audio Magazine as a “kind of cross between Robert Fripp & Garrison Keillor,” Legg is more fully characterized as a “genuine entertainer who excels at not only painting pictures, if not frescoes, and telling stories with music— but also wittily regaling his audiences with tales from his life and travels and his cogent and often oblique yet thought-provoking observations on a spectrum of topics. It’s all part of his dedication to making his performances a full- blooded emotional experience.” Over his career, he has released over a dozen recordings of his original compositions, which are consistently described as “thrilling, engaging, emotionally compelling and evocative.”, while encapsulates his own music by saying, “I’m a collision between European classicism and the American guitar.” Loyal fans around the globe enthusiastically appreciate Legg’s witty, entertaining stories, often shared in between songs onstage and on his live albums. As noted by popular BBC radio personality Andy Kershaw, “Quite simply, there is no one else like him,” citing Legg’s “dazzling technique and equally large dollops of spirit, humor, passion, eclecticism and spontaneity.” The essence of his creativity is in live performance. “Playing live is the whole point,” he stresses. “Everyone makes a journey, an effort; we all come together — me, the audience, the people who run the venue — to share this wonderful, universal, human emotional interaction. This is where music lives; it has a huge social value which I think is very important.” When it comes to musical technique, he plays fingerstyle guitar, mixing an alternating-bass style with harmonics, banjo-peg retuning and single or double string bending. Often, he plays a piece entirely in arpeggios (similar to a classical guitar style) and extensively uses altered tunings and capos to create his signature sound. In addition to his well-honed gifts as a performer, Mr. Legg is an innovator in guitar design & amplification technology, an instructor, photographer, writer, author, and an at-large commentator for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” which still regularly uses many of his varied guitar interpretations of its theme music. So it’s no wonder that What’s Up magazine hails London-born Legg as “the greatest British import since Newcastle Brown Ale.”

I had the chance to catch up with Mr. Adrian Legg ahead of his October 17th event here in Madison at The Bur Oak. We got into talking a little bit about what it is people can expect when he heads this way to play live…and….with a Shel Silverstein quote at the ready, you may have to head out to the event to really get the full picture. When we stated to talk about his ‘signature sound and how that was developed and even if it is a real thing, the time got very interesting for me. When the sounds are there, go find a way to make them happen the way you hear & feel them. I do actually want to see if each one of his finGers has a little face and brain of it’s own while he is playing. More reasons to get there and see him. Just like his commentary – he is brilliantly witty and I did get a little more insight into a possibly way that trickled into the way he puts on an event. We close out by talking aboyut how Mr. Legg refreshes his mind and finds inspiration when he isn’t working on his musical endeavors. The history is real and I can even picture the trail his bike is taking passing the timelines of the past as he pedals. Oh and when you go check him out live, don’t be fooled by one man sitting with a weird looking guitar, the outside of this book is much different when it sits on the table then when you open it up (and fingerstyle through).

Bookmark the permalink.

About grnarrow

Setlist Architect/Art Scene Checker-Outer/Sound Feeler

Leave a Reply