You have to see it to believe it.
¤ Arthur Lee Land¤ 10 p.m. Saturday¤ Old Town Pub¤ Free¤ 879-2101
Arthur Lee Land is a one-man band, and he can simultaneously produce the sounds of West African percussion, acoustic and electric guitars, guitar synth, talk box and vocals.
He does so by using a looper to capture the sounds from each instrument.
"Looping is basically recording instruments live and stacking them up on top of each other," Lee Land said.
Lee Land began playing music when he was five; he banged chopsticks on pillows. And he didn't let a learning disorder keep him down.
"I grew up as a hyperactive child with ADHD," Lee Land said. "I learned a way to make that whole thing work -- the looping thing is ADHD in itself."
Lee Land played many benefit concerts last year to raise money for The Learning Camp in Vail, a summer camp for children with learning disorders.
"It's something I have a passion for and a connection with," Lee Land said. "Sometimes kids get told they are wrong and bad and not good enough, which is a bunch of crap, because most of those kids are really bright and limited by circumstances of school and the learning process, because they have so much energy."
Much of Lee Land's vivacity has been devoted to developing the concept of "afrograss" since he returned from a trip to Ghana and Nigeria.
"It is the synthesis of West African percussion and bluegrass in a folk rock context," Lee Land said.
After spending three weeks in West Africa doing service oriented work and playing music, Lee Land returned to the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
"I was supposed to arrive at 11 a.m. in Detroit. Instead, I landed in Toronto, and it took five hours just to get off the plane," Lee Land said.
Lee Land brought back many African percussion instruments, including a djembe, dundun, malacash, omele and various bells and gourds. Lee Land incorporates the instruments into his performances. But his favorite instrument always will be the guitar.
After recording his newest CD, "Dragonfly," last year, Lee Land put together a band. At a recent show at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, he combined looping with the live band.
"It was really fun," Lee Land said. "Halfway through the third song, I stopped the loop and instead of the loop coming back in, the band came in."
When Lee Land goes on the road, he usually performs as a solo act.
"I'm a one-man afrograss folk ensemble," Lee Land said. "But the sound that comes out is like a band."