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Tuesday, December 22, 2009


320 KBPS

Adrian Legg is one of those guitarists that other guitarists listen to and think "how does he do that?". If you see him live you will alter the question to "okay so that's how he does it, but how does he make it work so well?". You see, what he does is this. He has built his own guitar with a special tuning mechanism using banjo tuning pegs which he can use to retune any string extremely quickly and with perfect accuracy. So while he is playing, even while he is plucking the strings with his right hand or holding down notes with his left hand, he is constantly tuning this and that string up and down with whatever hand is free, and without any breaks in the rhythm. The result is the kind of fluid up and down bends you would expect from a pedal steel. His accuracy and fluidity in doing this is amazing to hear and even more amazing to watch. In 1999 he was voted "guitarist of the decade" by Guitar Player magazine.
Okay, so that's technique, but even great technique does not necessarily produce good music and, as a previous reviewer has rightly pointed out, too much technique for technique's sake often gets in the way of the music. Thankfully Adrian Legg doesn't fall into this trap. At least not on this album anyway. He writes all sorts of styles of music, each in a way that perfectly fits the style, and only uses his strange techniques when it makes the music better. In fact, there are only three or four of the songs on this album where he uses that particular guitar at all. On other tracks he uses various steel strung or nylon strung instruments, but always in a way that fits the music. The greatness of his compositions even outshines the greatness of his technique. The result is a collection of tunes that span a wide range of styles and feelings. There are some really beautiful tunes, one highly complex multi-faceted composition, quite a few dynamic onslaughts and even some touches of comedy.

1. Thump the Clouds
2. Cajun Interlude
3. Irish Girl
4. Midwest Sunday
5. Guitars and Other Cathedrals
6. Montreux Ramble
7. Tracy's Big Moment
8. Divorcee's Waltz
9. Tune for Derrol
10. Nail Talk
11. Reckless Love
12. Pass the Valium
13. Dying Embers

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