Peter Frampton has got the blues real bad.
From his early musical roots starting in 1969 as part of Humble Pie, Frampton and Steve Marriott delivered up engaging arrangements filled with electrifying elements of rock, country, folk and blues.
Frampton would leave the band after four albums to pursue a solo career that would make the guitarist a true rock star after the mega success of “Frampton Comes Alive!” in 1976.
After being recently diagnosed with a progressive muscle disorder, Frampton is currently on a farewell tour for his fans to enjoy the magic that comes alive during his shows.
His first new release since 2016’s “Acoustic Classics,” “All Blues” showcases the guitar legend covering 10 of his favorite blues tracks.
Co-produced by Frampton and Chuck Ainlay, the new material was recorded at Frampton’s studio in Nashville.
Backed by his touring band consisting of Adam Lester on guitar and vocals, Rob Arthur on keyboards, guitar and vocals and Dan Wojciechowski on drums, the new album also contains some special guest appearances.
“I have had my fun/If I don't get well, no more,” sings Frampton on “Going Down Slow,” a number that features the guitar wizardry of Dixie Dregs founder and Deep Purple member Steve Morse. It’s a powerful track that demonstrates Frampton’s love of music and passion to perform.
A smoldering version of Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You” opens the album with Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds playing a pretty mean harmonica. Frampton’s interpretation stacks up well alongside previous versions recorded by Muddy Waters and Foghat.
The title track is a sophisticated shot of cool, accentuated by an appearance from guitar veteran Larry Carlton and Arthur’s slick piano playing.
For me, the highlight of the set is heard on a spirited cover of the Willie Dixon penned and Bo Diddley recorded “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover.” Frampton’s voice is still in fine form as he adds a fresh dose of soul and energy to this blues classic.
Other treats include Frampton channeling Freddie King on a fiery interpretation of “Me and My Guitar,” an instrumental version of the beautiful “Georgia on My Mind” and “The Thrill Is Gone” with guitarist Sonny Landreth joining Frampton.
It’s comforting to know that the thrill certainly isn’t gone when it comes to hearing the 69-year-old Frampton perform on his latest effort.
Clint Rhodes is the Herald-Standard music reviewer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.