Playbill

With his custom-built Ovation, a swamp ash body fitted with Keith banjo pegs, Adrian Legg is an acoustic fingerpicking wiz. Named "Guitarist of the Decade" by Britain's Guitarist Magazine and "Best Acoustic Guitarist" four years in a row by Guitar Player's readers, Legg is the guy about whom stylist extraordinaire Joe Satriani once said, "He's got hammers for fingers."

In person, Legg attracts two kinds: "Leggheads," guitar players who marvel at his right-hand technique and creative use of alternative tunings (ya know, the type who try to figure out how outstanding musicians do what they do), and general music lovers who are content to bask in wonderful instrumentalism.

A guitarist's guitarist, Legg is also an accomplished photographer. His work, as well as his music, appears on the enhanced CD Fingers and Thumbs (Red House), his most recent release. Photos illustrate the song "Shorelines," originally written for a British television eco-based series, Fragile Earth. The "Shorelines" program dealt with erosion along the British coastline. Other programs that Legg scored include one about salmon fishing rights and another on the killing of baby seals by clubbing. Regardless of the stories, says Legg, filming was beautiful. "And working across disciplines was fascinating and stimulating."

And then there are Legg's between-song stories on everything from the lost art of taking a bath to the surreal world of cheap American motels, which also keep a crowd engaged. Attending a Legg concert is like sharing an evening with a talented, charming friend who just happens to have brought his guitar along. It's only after the notes die away and you arise from a deep reverie that your brain realizes that all those sounds were made by one person with eight fingers and two thumbs. -- Aaron Howard

Adrian Legg performs Sunday, February 27, at Anderson Fair, 2007 Grant, at 8 p.m. For more information, call (713)528-8576.

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Aaron Howard