Adrian Legg- Live

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In a 2005 VG interview, Legg said of his aversion to live recordings, “It’s a moment in time. You’re capturing a social event, and you’re repeating it over and over again. If you get all those musicians and all those people together a different time, it will be different.”

Adrian Legg
Live

Thank goodness he acceded long enough to record a double CD in California’s wine country in 2017. And thank goodness the discs present an entire concert, complete with Adrian’s stories – song introductions, observations, tall tales. His press bio accurately describes him as an “electro-acoustic fingerstyle guitarist and raconteur extraordinaire.”

The 69-year-old Englishman exhibits remarkable technique while turning the whole concept of guitar technique on its head. His style fits no category. It’s acoustic fingerstyle, a.k.a. “folk,” but he plays a solidbody electric, and he’s not adverse to using a few stomp boxes. There are jazz and classical elements, but he changes tunings (and incorporates those twists on the fly) via Keith banjo tuners on all six strings. And after gravitating to guitar via the Shadows, his biggest influences have been banjo and pedal steel players.

Best of all, though, originals like “Ragged Nail” and “The Doorbell Song” don’t just dazzle; their transportive musicality impresses most.


This article originally appeared in VG May 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.