Axe Banger: The Guitarist Showcase

Adam Levy

Name: Adam Levy

Playing (years): 29 years (1977 – present)

Style: Guitar style is on the bluesy side of jazz, or vice versa, with a Bill Frisell openness in the overall sound.

Vocal style is rough yet mellow, like early Tom Waits, or a male Rickie Lee Jones.

Electric guitars:
1964 Gibson ES-335
1979 Gibson ES-335
1959 Fender Esquire
2005 custom Daisy Rock

Acoustic guitars:
pre-War Stella (unknown model)
1951 Gibson J-45
2004 Martin OM-18V (with Sunrise sound-hole pickup)
2003 Martin 000-28VS (with Sunrise sound-hole pickup)

a handful of mid-’60s “blackface” Fender Princeton Reverb amplifiers
2004 custom Victoria Victorilux
2001 custom Belov Dragster

Endorsements: Gibson, Martin, Daisy Rock

Note: None of these are full-scale artist endorsements — such as guitarist Carlos Santana has with Paul Reed Smith guitars — but these companies have been very supportive of me.

Past accomplishments: Played with Tracy Chapman on her Grammy winning album ‘New Beginning’ (featuring the single “Give Me One Reason”).

Played with Norah Jones on her Grammy winning albums ‘Come Away with Me’ and ‘Feels Like Home’. Toured the world several times over with Norah Jones — and, in doing so, got to perform onstage with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Indigo Girls, Gillian Welch, Dolly Parton.

Wrote music and lyrics for “In the Morning” — a song featured on Norah Jones’ ‘Feels Like Home’ album.

Current and upcoming projects: In pre-production now for a recording of new songs, to be produced by Marvin Etzioni.

Favorite guitarist: Just one? Jeff Beck.

If I could add two more, Bill Frisell and Ry Cooder.

Most Underated Players: Guitarist David Lindley is certainly not unknown, but he’s not nearly as known as he should be.

Kevin Breit is a Canadian guitarist who most Americans are unaware of. A complete badass on guitar, banjo, mandolin — anything with strings.

Dayna Kurtz is a New York-based singer/songwriter and a hell of a guitar player, in all sorts of tunings.

Best musician you’ve ever seen: Singer/pianist/songwriter/arranger Allen Toussaint.

Four words that best describe what you want to get across in your playing: Brutal truth, in rhythm.

Your hero: Ry Cooder

Ultimate goal: Write songs that people can’t forget. Play guitar in a way that supports these songs, and adds an unspoken subtext to the lyrics. Travel the world, singing and playing these songs.

Adam Levy
261 Broome St., apt. 2G
New York, NY 10002
(646) 256-4192


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