Word is that Erlanger, Ky., native Adrian Belew’s latest tour draws from his entire musical output, a nearly four-decade career that started as a guitar ace for a who’s who of Rock royalty — from Frank Zappa, who “discovered” him, to David Bowie, who once called him a “promising young Kentuckian” — through an ever-evolving songwriting run that started with his 1983 solo debut Lone Rhino.
That’s more than 30 years of songs from projects as diverse as his long stint with Prog icons King Crimson to the Pop Rock masters The Bears (which, to the unfamiliar, also features local heroes psychodots) to his more experimental solo albums, the most recent of which are the simply titled Side One, Side Two and Side Three.
The one constant in each of these musical guises is Belew’s versatile, inventive guitar playing, which can move from heavy riffing to light-as-air atmospheric in a moment’s notice.
“I’ve always been interested in sound itself,” Belew recently told ultimateguitar.com. “It doesn’t matter what the source is, I hear music in everything. I grew up with my feet in both camps, Pop and Avant-Garde. I loved things I heard on the radio but I also loved the really bizarre, interesting things I might hear in a movie soundtrack.”
Belew’s current touring trio features longtime bassist Julie Stick and drummer Tobias Ralph, a virtuosic rhythm section eager to support one of the singular artists in modern music.
Adrian Belew plays at 20th Century Theater Sunday, Dec. 21. Find tickets/more info here.