Last night’s John Hiatt/Peter Frampton double bill at the Ryman, benefitting Cumberland Heights, was a stellar show! Hiatt played by himself with an acoustic guitar, covering favorites like “Feels Like Rain” (covered by Buddy Guy, don’cha know), “Drive South”, “Tennessee Plates”, the always beautiful “Have a Little Faith”–which he did on piano, and others. He also played a couple of cuts of the upcoming album, and both were classic Hiatt. I especially liked the “How ’bout Them Dogs” (I’m not sure if this is the working title, but it’s the lead line in the chorus), it made me smile from way down deep, and also touched me heart as he reflected on what a special place our canine companions have in our hearts, and our lives. I always knew that he was a good feller, and this sealed the deal. Can’t wait for the new album, and is there any sweeter sound than hearing that man sing in the Ryman? (Maybe him, and Shelby Lynne, and Keb’ Mo, and the North Mississippi Allstars, and the Crowes all on one bill. Yeah, right, I know it’ll never happen but still it makes me happy to dream…)
And Peter Frampton, how cool was that. I am dating myself here, but I can remember getting 1975’s Frampton from my uncle. I was in the 5th grade, and went to sleep with that on my turntable every night. Thanks, Mitch! He sounded great, vocally and of course he hasn’t lost his chops at all over the years. He had a great band, featuring none other than Nashville’s own Audley Freed (who’s played with the likes of the Black Crowes, Dixie Chicks, and Gov’t Mule). They played several instrumental tracks of the Grammy-winning Fingerprints album, as well as classics, “Show Me the Way”, “Do You Feel (Like I Do)”, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”, and “Baby I Love Your Way”. Former Nashvillian himself, Frampton’s set was both a trip down memory lane, and a look at some of the best instrumental work today.