Bio

Alex Legg was born in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland on 24th May 1952. He was one of five children born to farmer Harry Legg and his wife, Catherine. From a childhood spent on the family farm, Alex grew up to become a consummate entertainer. His percussive guitar, stomping groove, and gritty vocals would deliver one captivating song after another. Close your eyes and you’d believe a whole band was on stage. His passionate delivery was spontaneous and engaging. He was also a master wordsmith and an engaging storyteller, communicating with his audience songs that reflected his life. 

"When I first heard Alex Legg, I was surprised to only see one musician on stage. His guitar technique blends percussion bass and harmony, without ever descending into pointless showboating, and when coupled with his thoughtful songwriting and sharp lyrics, makes for a pretty compelling show. I'm a fan" — Bass player-extraordinaire, Steve Lawson, Bass Guitar Magazine

As a songwriter Alex Legg is second to none. Drawing inspiration from eclectic sources he created his own genre. Rich in melody with lived-it, living-it lyrics, his songs have the immediate appeal of truly great classic Pop. Internationally he has worked with the world's best, including Albert Lee, Buddy Miller, Randy Crawford and Joe Cocker: in Australia, alongside Renee Geyer, Richard Clapton, Andy Cowan and many more. He has collaborated with Nashville writers, Larry Henley (Wind Beneath My Wings), John Beeby (Dreamtime - Daryl Hall), Phil Madeira (Alison Kraus, Garth Brooks), Hunter Moore, Casey Kelly (Kenny Rogers, Joe Diffie), Margaret Becker & Billy Sprague.

"HEAVEN HELP ME - This is heartfelt and soulful, sung and performed from the heart which always makes for a great song...sometimes it's the performance that maintains the integrity of a well thought out song...you can feel the emotion and soul. 'Heaven Help Me' is one of those songs." - Johnny Neel (Allman Bros Band/Nashville producer)

Awards

TOO MANY CHILDREN was given the "Best of the Best" award at The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (BASCA) at The LONDON SONGWRITERS SHOWCASE 1997. The song also won the Global Singer Songwriter Awards 2004.
FORGET IT won the The Basin Musical Festival Song Contest 2010.
WERE YOU THERE was a finalist in the Port Fairy Songwriter Awards 2005, and won a place in the finals of Peacedriven Song Awards 2005.
HEAVEN HELP ME won the online music community Broadjam's Peer Review Contest, date unknown.



Alex's Musical Journey

Alex cut his teeth on the ballads & fishing songs of his native North-east Scotland. He led a rich and interesting musical life since writing his first song at twelve years of age. By the time he was fourteen he was playing bass in Scottish dance band, Dave Barron’s Baronettes. After playing bass in a number of Aberdeen bands, including Hedgehog Pie, he moved to London in 1974 to join his friend and colleague John Fitzgerald. He quickly gained a reputation in the London music scene. He would go on to work with Pearse Kelly & John Curtis (Gary Moore), and to play with Mike Woods (Peter Sarstedt), Andy Summers (Police), and Steve York (Elkie Brooks).

Looking for avenues to make his mark, in 1976 he teamed up with controversial singer/actress Hazel O'Connor, best known for her song 'Eighth Day' and her lead role in the film Breaking Glass. Alex took on session work for O'Connor at Winchester Studio, with producers John MacMillan & Hugh Murphy (Baker Street-Gerry Rafferty). Two years later, he went on to play bass with Ireland's Lee Lynch & the Blue Angels, touring throughout the UK, Eire & New York. He then joined show band Nuala & the Newcomers, before teaming up with Dave Barfield & Phil Adams as The Wonderfuls, to play top London venues on the indie circuit, including 100 Club, and the Marquee. By 1982 he was playing bass for The Strolling Bones.

His session work in the mid 80s included working with industry giants Tony Eyers, Peter Ker and Tony Visconti. But by then, it wasn't only his bass playing prowess that was earning him a reputation. For a spell Alex employed as a songwriter for hugely successful pop band Modern Romance. In 1985, modest success came his way when Junior Francis produced 3 Leggsongs for soul singer Steve Myers, featuring WHAM's Tommy Eyre & Trevor Murrell. One of those songs, I'M DOWN, was a hit on the UK club scene. 

Alex was then hired by Lorimar Publishing to collaborate on a songwriting and recording project, 'The Way,' with John Ellis (Vibrators, Peter Gabriel Band, Stranglers). When Lorimar Publishing was acquired by Warner Bros, 'The Way' folded due to lack of investment. 

Ever the troubadour, in the mid-1980s Alex picked up the acoustic guitar and developed his unique style, with its 'big fat bottom end,' the perfect accompaniment for his passionate, insightful lyrics. He began gigging solo with his ever growing songbag. He gained the support of Blueprint Management's Cook & Glover, who introduced him to a number of UK festivals, including Greenbelt, Wimbourne and Cambridge. He'd gained a reputation as an excellent songwriter, enjoying many co-writing moments, including with John Beeby (Aretha Franklin, Daryl Hall).

The 1990s saw a very different Alex. In 1991 he married Australian singer Jenny Smith and together they recorded three albums (Falling off the Edge of the World 1993, Granite Stones & Clay 1996 & True Stories 2002), and toured throughout the UK and Europe. Four Leggsongs from these albums were covered by Dutch band TWICE, produced by Nashville's Buddy Miller. 1995 saw the birth of their son, Angus Legg, now a singer songwriter in his own right. During this period, Alex collaborated with keyboardist Tim Oliver on various recording projects, including the acclaimed album, Healesville (2003), and a series of 4 children's albums for record label ICC. In 1997 Alex travelled to Nashville. There he co-wrote with Casey Kelly (Leather & Lace), Billy Sprague (No Good Reason & One Day Soon), Larry Henley, Phil Madeira and Margaret Becker.

After thirty years songwriting and gigging, Alex moved to Melbourne, Australia with his wife and son, and two contact numbers in his phone book. From such tenuous beginnings, Alex went on to forge a successful musical career in Melbourne, especially in the Dandenong Ranges where he ran Kelly’s Sessions at Kelly’s Bar and Grill, Olinda, easily the greatest open mic in the world and a training ground for many emerging artists. Alex nurtured the talent and gave freely his own hard won wisdom, encouraging singer songwriters to work up a three-hour set and get themselves out there. He would even help book them gigs. Alex also hosted a monthly Blues and Roots night at Burrinja Arts Centre café, featuring Nick Charles, Fiona Boyes, Andy Cowan, Phil Manning, Kavisha Mazzella, and Lloyd Spiegel and many more top Blues artists, all of whom held Alex in the highest regard.

Alex has played at numerous folk and music festivals, including Port Fairy, Woodbridge, and the National Folk Festival. Others include Fairbridge, Brunswick, Illawarra, Yackandandah, Chewton, and Maldon Festivals. He was a regular in the Melbourne music scene, performing everywhere from the Boite World Music Café to the Caravan Club. He was loved by many for his energetic and captivating performances, for his benevolence towards other musicians, for his vast experience as a lifelong gigging muso who never earned a dollar any other way, and for his incisive wit, which never failed to amuse. 

On Wednesday the 3rd December 2014, while his open mic was running up in the Hills, Alex passed away after a short battle with cancer. He was surrounded by family and friends. The loss of Melbourne's most loveable Scottish troubadour was deeply felt far and wide. The following comment sums up why.

"Alex has been a regular, sharing his beautiful music at the Abbotsford Lentil as Anything for a couple of years now and absolutely loved it. He loved getting in amongst the crowd and really connecting with the people, he loved sharing the gift of music and song, he shared the wonderful Lentils ethos of generosity and inclusion.

He was also a dear friend and a champion of live music and musicians in and around Melbourne. He will be sadly missed by many." - Lentil As Anything 5/12/2014


At the time of his passing he was working on an album featuring the legendary guitarist Albert Lee.                

                                                                                                                                                                        this biography is composed by Isobel Blackthorn


You can find tracks from this album here - http://www.broadjam.com/artists/songs.php?artistID=14118&mediaID=93385

Healesville and The Best Laid Plans of Chocolate Mice are available here https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/alex

and on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/healesville/id5906641

 

Discography:

Leggacy (2015)

Fokey Foke Fokin' - Songs in the Scottish tradition (2011)

The Wonderfuls (2011)

Live at Camelot DVD (2011)

Fokey Foke Fokin' - Songs in the Irish tradition (2010)

The Best Laid Plans of Chocolate Mice (2009)

Songs of Sedition and Swing (2006)

Healesville (2003)

True Stories (2002)

Granite Stones and Clay (1996)

Falling Off the Edge of the World (1993)

The Wild Geese (1991)

Kurds and Why (1990)

Harry Legg's Loon - The bothy ballads of North-east Scotland (1986)

 



 

Photo montage by Marg Thompson

A Selection of music videos