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Legg, Adrian: Guitar Bones

Move over Gordon Giltrap! Stand aside Leo Kottke! Make room John Renborn, Bert Jansch and all you others! Any other wannabees with even a modicum of talent in the fingerstyle guitarist's department may as well leave the room right now. For those unfamiliar with Adrian Legg, he is a true Cockney, born in Hackney, East London although he now travels the world playing his delightful tunes to the pleasure and delight of thousands who have come to know the sound and style of his playing. Voted the Best Fingerstyle Guitarist for four years straight 1993-1996, there can be no denying the man's brilliance and musical dexterity on the guitar. He simply rips the frets apart with such amazing and technical virtuosity, one can only listen in awe as each song unfolds. A frenetic and phenomenal phalanx of the phalanges if you will! Don't be mistaken into believing however, that Adrian is another shredder as his style possesses much greater finesse and polish and using acoustic guitar to such brilliant effect would make any attempt to rev things up electrically, seem totally superfluous. Despite this, he has made a number of appearances with such luminaries as David Lindley as well as a part of the G3 Tour featuring Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson and Steve Vai whose collective abilities and talents need no additional comment other to say how brilliant such a live show would have been for those lucky enough to attend it.

Musically, Adrian shows amazing versatility in his songs and covers everything from folk, blues, jazz and country with some classical references here and there to complete the mix. The speed with which he travels around the fret board is truly frightening as you have to maintain constant attention to follow where each song is going, lest you get lost.

Being a guitar soloist with no vocals may not appeal to all but there can be no denying the overall talent such an amazing player can demonstrate with the variety of material he offers on this disc.

Adrian has collected a veritable swag of awards during his career including the crowning in England as the Acoustic Guitarist of The Decade. When one factors in the training videos and books he has also released, there can be no greater teacher to impart such a wealth of talent, ideas and techniques to our young and avid beginners.

Although I am a big admirer of Gordon Giltrap whose music I greatly enjoy, I believe Adrian possesses slightly more virtuosity. Gordon's music has immediate appeal due to the involvement of other instrumentation which rounds out the sound and makes each song complete. It must be extremely difficult for a guitar soloist to produce a whole album full of unique songs that don't suffer from sounding too alike but for the most part, the songs on this great album each possess their own style and musical fingerprinting not found often enough elsewhere. Adrian is the consummate professional and perfectionist and has now found a place in my collection as a worthy addition to this relatively small sub genre of acoustic guitar mortals.

To quote a short paragraph from his promotional material, Adrian is really at his most remarkable when playing live where his humour is fully apparent. Using his considerable comedic skills to enhance his performances, he is able to overcome the communication obstacles that confront a solo instrumentalist. If you ever have the opportunity to see any of his live performances, I am led to believe they are certainly worthwhile.

Adrian Legg? You may remove your training wheels! I believe you have well and truly arrived!

Adrian's 8th disc was released in January 2003 on the Favoured Nations Acoustic label.

Added: September 19th 2003
Reviewer: Greg Cummins
Related Link: Adrian Legg's Official Website
Hits: 2701
Language: english

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