Peter Frampton - Now
Like Gary Morrow and the recently departed Robert Palmer, Peter Frampton has rediscovered the blues. His album snappily titled "Now" was self produced and includes a touching tribute to George Harrison in the form of a cover of the song "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". The former Beatle would be in awe of such a fitting accolade.
Opening track "Verge Of A Thing" has Gordon Kennedy playing rock guitar to Peter Frampton's authentic blues vocal. If you shut your eyes you could almost be in a red neck bar room in the deep south of America. Well almost, but you get my drift I hope. The moody, magnificent "Hour Of NEed" comes across like a downbeat Paul Carrack, but with less syrupy sentiment. It's a slice of life, down on your luck tale of a man who's had his fair share of misfortune. The musicians are meticulous especially multi-instrumentalist Bob Mayo who's a whizz whether plucking the guitar, tinkling his ivories or using his dulcet tones as a tuneful backing vocalist.
"I'm Back" has lyrics so humorous that I cracked a wry smile on more than one occasion. With the additional keyboard flourish and funky guitars this is one of the albums more upbeat tracks with a killer chorus which fancifully name checks Terminator and indeed Schwarznegger. The instrumental "Greens" is very much in the spirit of the guitarist's guitarists Mark "Dire Straits" Knopfler and is an extremely moving piece of music. I for one appreciate it's pathos and purity.
"Now" may have a Stateside feel and this is largely because the majority of the recordings took place in Cincinnati, Ohio and Nashville. I would love to see Peter Frampton and his band go out on tour as this would transfer so naturally to a live environment. This album is such a showcase for Peter Frampton who still had a canny knack at producing quality music as illustrated here. "Now" is an album that genuinely moved me which in my case is no mean feat.
Nicholas Paul Godkin
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