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Starting to gig as a solo artist in the mid-1970s, London-born Adrian Legg won a Guitar Magazine solo acoustic competition in both the composition and performance categories. He began writing articles for that magazine and other guitar publications (including California-based Guitar Player), 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 and Company’s musical instrument and equipment store on London’s legendary music business strip, Denmark Street, 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, the rest of Europe, and later in America and Japan. His compositions began being used by English radio and TV programs, and London’s Ballet Rambert also choreographed one of his songs as a dance piece.
With his 1990 American recording debut album, Guitars and Other Cathedrals, Legg found even greater success across the Atlantic as a regularly touring solo act, headlining and sharing billings with fellow guitarists Richard Thompson, David Lindley, Eric Johnson (whose 2005 album, Bloom, Legg plays on), and Joe Satriani (on both his own shows and as part of his G3 Tour package with Johnson and Steve Vai, whose Favored Nations record label released two of Legg’s albums). Guitar Player named his records Guitar for Mortals and Mrs. Crowe’s Blue Waltz as “Best Acoustic Album” (1992 and 1993) and Wine, Women & Waltz as “Best Overall Guitar Album” (1994) in its annual readers’ polls. Legg has three instructional videos on the U.S. market (Beyond Acoustic Guitar, Fingerpicking and Open Tunings, and How to Cheat at Guitar) as well as two books (Customizing Your Electric Guitar and a collection of his compositions in tablature and standard notation, Pickin’ ’n’ Squintin’). In addition to his commentaries for All Things Considered, the popular public radio news show regularly uses several of his varied guitar interpretations for its theme music.
Throughout his career, he 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.”
I was blown away by the dazzling, evocative music conjured purely by Legg’s fingers, heart, and soul.
—Guitar Player Magazine