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Fingers and Thumbs

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Album Review

Adrian Legg is one of those guitarists whom other guitarists love to hate — it would be easier if he were a mere virtuoso, spinning out a thousand meaningless notes per second and allowing less skilled players to comfort themselves with the thought that they, at least, have taste. The problem is that he has both chops and taste in such jaw-dropping quantity that other players are left dumbfounded and stricken. Those whose egos are unattached to the guitar are free, of course, to simply sit back and enjoy Legg's sweet-spirited virtuosity and his endless melodic invention, as it is demonstrated here by such compositions as the twangy "Lunchtime at Rosie's" (performed in collaboration with fellow guitar god Eric Johnson), the almost bluesy "Not Remotely Blue" and the mournful "Hymn for Jaco." Legg plays in a cascading fingerpicking style that derives as much from bluegrass banjo technique as anything else, and he has an uncanny ability to bend the strings in a way that imitates the sound of a pedal steel. But despite all of the clear influences on his playing, his remains a truly unique and immediately recognizable style. Highly recommended.


Born: 1948 in Hackney, London, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

East London-born Adrian Legg first learned to play the oboe as a youngster and then made a fateful switch to guitar during adolescence. Since then, he has established his reputation as a unique and highly technical fingerstyle guitarist with shades of classical, jazz, folk, country, and rock coloring his work. Though he has released several of his own studio albums since the late '70s -- many of which have topped year-end reader's polls for Guitarist and Guitar Player magazines -- he has thrived...
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