Popular music, due in part to its accessibility, is often watered down. Digital recording can level out a song, making what should be a climactic, emotional bridge sound the same as the rest of the tune, nuances and shades blurred into mediocrity. So when the opportunity arises to see a master performer live, it's one to take as a reminder that not all music is created equal. Fingerstyle guitarist Adrian Legg is just such a performer.
Legg debuted his first United States release in 1990. In the years since that release, Legg has garnered fans not only among music appreciators but also among other greats in his field, including Joe Satriani with whom he toured last summer. On Legg's Web site, Satriani is quoted as saying, "He's simply the best acoustic guitar player I've ever heard ... he plays like he has hammers for fingers." In 2004, Legg released Inheritance, an album in which he moved away from his adherence to acoustic music and used more synthesizers, giving his music an even richer, fuller sound. Employing everything from Irish jigs to rock to pop to gospel to folk, Legg relies not on lyrics but on his incredible technique to tell a tale. A large part of his appeal comes between his songs because his storytelling is as much a part of his shows as his lightning-fast fingers. Watching Legg is not only enjoyable, it's inspiring. Whether a guitar player, a plumber or a street sweeper, after a night with him, you'll find yourself striving for your own greatness.
Jan. 29, 7 p.m., $15. For more information, call 208-602-7636. Reef, 105 S. 6th St., 208-287-9200, ReefBoise.com.