Adam Levy, the guitarist noted for his blend of fingerstyle jazz, ‘60s folk and Memphis blues, has worked with Ani DiFranco, Tracey Chapman and Norah Jones. Levy toured as a singer/songwriter for several years before challenging himself in early 2010 to write 20 songs in 20 weeks. Polishing rough songs with a gritty, tender voice, he won audiences on both coasts and abroad. Financed by 174 fans on Kickstarter.com, Levy’s seventh solo recording is his first without electric guitar.
Deliberately crafting fiction, Levy finds personal truths. The title tune, warning that love may steal your heart out of mere curiosity, is charming and creepy like Vincent Price in a dusty Armani tux. In “This Is the Sound,” he fantasizes about losing his voice forever; that voice aches on “Painting by Numbers,” about an artist who’s lost his muse. His exuberant guitar ends “When I Lose Myself,” hinting at hard won peace. Other standouts include the gold rush ballad “A Promise to California;” “There’s a Light,” co-written with Geoff Martyn, in which he takes stock of his wandering, touring ways; and the wickedly danceable “No Dancing.”
Levy co-produced with Mark Orton, whose deftly atmospheric work gives added presence. The Heart Collector captures beautifully the generously expressive singing and skilled, sensitive guitar work that are winning standing room crowds for Adam Levy.