JPR Live Session: Adrian Legg (2018)
Adrian Legg has forged a path unique among guitarists. His quest to blend the tonality of an acoustic with the amplified power of the electric guitar continued today. “I wanted something that had the harmonic content roughly like an acoustic, and that had the flexibility in terms of stringing and volume levels, whatever you wanted to do, of an electric,” he explains.
Starting to gig as a solo artist in the mid 1970s, Legg won a Guitar magazine solo acoustic competition in both the composition and performance categories, and began writing articles for that magazine and other guitar publications (and later Guitar Player in America), plus authored his first of a number of books, The All Round Gigster. He released his first of five albums in Britain in 1976. Soon after, he began working for Rose Morris & Company’s musical instrument and equipment store on London’s legendary Denmark Street music business strip doing guitar repairs, quality control and manufacturer contact. That led to collaborations and consultations with numerous guitar makers and amplifier and pickup manufacturers and technicians over the years as well as guitar clinics and product demonstrations at musical instrument and equipment shows in Britain, Europe and later America and Japan.
With his 1990 American recording debut on Guitars & Other Cathedrals, Legg found even greater success across the pond as a regularly touring solo act, headlining and sharing bills with fellow guitarists Richard Thompson, David Lindley, Eric Johnson and Joe Satriani. Guitar Player named his records Guitar for Mortals and Mrs. Crowe’s Blue Waltz as Best Acoustic Album (1992 & ’93) and Wine, Women & Waltz as Best Overall Guitar Album (1994) in its annual readers’ polls.
Throughout his career, Legg has earned the highest praise from the media. "Legg is, above all, a guitarist of great power, invention and versatility,” observes the St. Petersburg Times. “Through fast-fingered picking, spontaneously layering parts and occasional ringing harmonics, he sounds like an orchestra.” Guitar Player heralds how he “combines a sublime melodic sense with a mighty right-hand groove, creating pretty music with rhythmically aggressive undercurrents,” while Acoustic Guitar notes that “the guitar is the most versatile instrument in the world, and nobody demonstrates this better than Adrian Legg.” But the Atlanta Journal-Constitution likely summed up his impact on listeners best when it exclaimed, "Mr. Legg's compositions, with their narrative melodies and nakedly emotive tones, offer an antidote to the guitar-hero syndrome.”