Peter Frampton kept his mouth shut for his new album. Willingly.
“Fingerprints” is the fi rst allinstrumental album in 40 years of recording for the British-born guitarist, who’s best-known for his 1976 phenomenon “Frampton Comes Alive.” It features a cover of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” and a wealth of guests, including members of Pearl Jam and the Shadows, the original Rolling Stones rhythm section of Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman, and Warren Haynes from the Allman Brothers Band and Gov’t Mule.
“I did it because I could,” Frampton, 56, says with a laugh, “and because it’s been way too long with not doing” an instrumental album.
“I’ve always been a little nervous about doing it, even though I started off playing instrumentals when I was a kid. That’s where I cut my teeth, with the Shadows and the Ventures and a lot of that pre-Beatles stuff.”
“Fingerprints” also is part of Frampton’s continuing effort to reclaim his reputation as a guitarist fi rst and foremost — something he acknowledges got lost when he became a pop chart regular in the ’70s.
In fact, Frampton says, he’s still battling some lingering resentment and insecurities that date back to the mania of 30 years ago.
“There’s a sort of modesty that I have about my playing, only because I’ve been through the wars with it,” he explains. “I guess that I’m a little gun-shy after sort of being trashed by the press and never really being accepted for what I was.
“The guitar playing really got forgotten about, and for a while there I almost lost interest in playing guitar; ‘Well, I’m known as this entertainer as opposed to a musician. They don’t even care whether I’m playing or not!’ It knocked my confidence in my playing a lot, but I’ve been getting it back and feel really good about it now.”
Peter Frampton and the Elms perform at 7:30 tonight at DTE Energy, Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road north of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $35.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit
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