Paul Wilson: Peter Frampton’s “Guitar Circus” Slides into the Kauffman Center

bb_king_2Stop whatever you’re doing right now and mark your calendar…

The date: Sunday, August 18, 7:00PM at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Because if you’re a guitar fan, this is an event you won’t want to miss and will never get a chance to see again.

Peter Frampton, B.B. King and Sonny Landreth kicking out the jams on the same stage

Forget that Frampton – and his talk box – is a legend. He remains one of the top guitarists in rock history. At age 16, Frampton helped form Brit band The Herd. At 18, he co-founded the seminal rock group Humble Pie. That’s where many of you who grew up in the 70’s probably first came across him.

BB King? He and Lucille need no introduction.

Lucille’s so famous she has her own Wikipedia page, for God’s sake!

BB’s career started back in 1948 and at 76 years old, he’s still layin it down. I heard him at a meet and greet explain how he invented his signature technique of laying down a riff, singing a few notes, laying down a riff and singing a few more notes. He laughed and said, “That’s not a technique, I just never was good enough to sing and play much at the same time!”

oaaa_framptonBB King, blues icon, with a side order of humility.

Sonny Landreth? For my money, he’s the undisputed king of the slide guitar, the master of “slideco.” Yes, I know about Ry, Blind Willie and Mick Taylor, but I’ll whip out my #2 pencil and scratch my vote firmly in the “Landreth” box.

Bonnie Raitt describes Landreth’s fifth “official” release as, “a killer record by one of the most astonishing guitarists I know. I’m a huge fan of Sonny’s singing and writing as well as his slide playing and am thrilled he asked me to be part of the record. Let’s hope this one finally gets him riding the acclaim he so deserves.”

There you have it.

Three legends on one stage together. You don’t want to miss this one.

So what’s the concept behind The Guitar Circus?

“I took a year off after completing the Frampton Comes Alive 35th Anniversary tour in March, 2012. It was probably the most successful tour I’ve done  – 116 three-hour shows over 13 months — and my manager Ken Levitan and I had to decide how to top that,” Frampton says. “I decided that I wanted to have lots of guitar players, with someone I really admire opening the evening and returning to jam with me, and old and new friends sit in and do a couple of numbers of theirs and mine. I wanted to make it a real circus, where anything can happen.”

g03123How Frampton chose the guests:

“We sat down and made a list and lo and behold, the first person to say they were in was B.B. King. You could have blown me away with a feather. I was so honored that he wanted to leave home and join the circus – my circus!”

Frampton also chosen friends and artists he looks up to who will join him around the country in other venues, including Steve Cropper, Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots), Don Felder (formerly of The Eagles), Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Vince Gill, David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Davy Knowles, Larry Carlton, Roger McGuinn (founder/lead guitarist of the BYRDS), Richard Thompson, Leslie West (Mountain), Vinnie Moore (UFO), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Rick Derringer, Larry Carlton and Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick).

In my humble opinion, Kansas City has THE sterling line up of the entire tour. If I could make one and only one change, I’d add a fourth to the mix in the form of Kenny Wayne Shephard. I don’t want to give up any of the other three, just add Kenny.

On second thought, I’ll add a fifth, Leslie West of Mountain. Seeing those 5 doing Mississippi Queen as the encore would complete the night.

Your well-coiffed scribe will be there, so come early and let’s have a drink in the lobby before the show.

Regular Tickets ($59-$139) and VIP Package ($250) on sale now!,786

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36 Responses to Paul Wilson: Peter Frampton’s “Guitar Circus” Slides into the Kauffman Center

  1. hardly says:

    just some old hasben giutar players……..over the hill jus t like ewe are…….yawn……..cant ewe cum up with sumthing beter to right about……..if ewe are going to stay up laet two see taht show……make sure to taek and extra shot of geritol be four ewe go………………..hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Thanks, Hardly. No matter how bad you diss me, I see you’re still a fan, reader, lover and des3iple of the new scribe. I count you as my friend and brother. Come over, I’ll buy you a beer.

      • harley says:

        Wilson ….I write bad but not that bad… know my
        and yes that’s gonnabe one of the top shows of the year…
        and at kaufman its gonna be super.
        and Wilson you know I don’t drink beer…more rum man
        than brewery guy….but if i’m in town….i’llsee you there…
        and please stop the phony hardly/Harley stuff…its old…
        come on…..
        butwhat about chuck berry?????????????????????????

        • Fred says:

          I thought that was you. Sure that wasn’t you when you had a few too many rums and just forgot you wrote it?

  2. PB says:

    Love that you’re pimping this show that I’ll be attending, but damn, BB probably wishes he was still only 76 as in reality he’s 87 years old last September. That aside, am looking forward to this more because of Frampton (whom I’ve never seen live), Sonny Landreth is one of the top 2 or 3 slide players in the world and the Kaufmann Center (never been). BB’s best playing/singing days are way behind him and while I was resigned to not seeing him again (last time was 2005) because of his diminished skills, the allure of this entire show and to see him one last time swayed my thinking.

    Also, I believe we will in fact be getting a fourth performer at this show in Davy Knowles and having seen him a couple of times, I can attest that he’s a fine and appropriate addition as his playing is sort of a throw back to Steve Marriott and Frampton’s Humble Pie days.

  3. paulwilsonkc says:

    PB, you could not be MORE right! I have no idea what I did there, maybe its my own advanced age or extreme dyslexia, regardless, thanks for the correction.
    Its going to be a great show, and you are correct, we will likely never see BB again. Hook up with me before the show, PB, lets meet at the bar and have a drink.
    Thanks again for your age correction, much appreciated.

  4. rkcal says:

    Be sure to warn Hearne there’ll be old people there.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      rkcal; thanks for the reminder. If there are old people there, I’m not going; I have an image to maintain!

  5. Greg Clazer says:

    I met BB King years ago when I was in Vegas. I was playing bingo and felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and he introduced hisself to me. He had a copy of my book, The King of Stink and wanted me to autograf it. He was telling me what a huge fan he was of me and my book. He thanked me for being so humble an taking time out of my busy schedule to sign his book. He liked it almost as much as I do. He also noticed what great shape I was in and asked me how I stay looking so awesome. I told him about my workout routine. I also told him about how the steroids not only make me look like a greek god, but also seem to keep my herpes from flaring up as often. Overall, he seemed really impressed with me and seemed like a really genuine guy.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      That’s a great story, Greg; I’m glad he read your book, everyone deserves a chuckle now and then, I bet he enjoyed it. I was in Vegas when I had my encounter with him as we’ll. I had an all access pass for the Eagles and just before they took the stage, I walked out with two of them to check the set up.
      BB was in the audience down in VIP. His security asked him, “Hey, BB, is that Glen Fry?” BB smiled and said, “I have no idea, but that’s Paul Wilson standing up there with them, whoever they are…” That’s when I knew I’d arrived. He asked me to sign Lucille later and we had a great time at the after party when he told me the story.

  6. Libertarian says:

    Nice line-up. I hadn’t heard about this show.

    I just might have to peel for a pair of tix.

    Out of all those you named, to see Leslie West, Rick Nielsen, and Dave Hildago all at once would be my pick for an interesting ensemble.

    • the dude says:

      Thompson and Hidalgo would be my picks to want to see. Watching King at this date would be about the same as catching Chuck Berry in his current incarnation at the Duck Room.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Dude, there are acts I’ve seen in the past just because of who they are or were. People I think you just need to see.
        Im not a country fan on any level. Never owned a Garth Brooks record, never would, but I was sure at the Sprint Center opening to see his act, front and center.
        I try to be well rounded in what I see and do, sometimes, I think its worth seeing an icon, even if its a genre you dont particularly like.
        Thats why I woud like to see BB, regardless. I know he’s not who he was, but he is who he is.

      • Libertarian says:

        Los Lobos cover of Thompson’s “Shoot Out the Lights” is one of my favorite songs.

  7. paulwilsonkc says:

    Lib, no doubt and equally fine line up. Isn’t it funny how subjective musical taste is? I made the inflammatory comment after seeing Tedeschi Trucks again, a few weeks back in my review, that I place him in the top 10 guitarists/slide dudes of all time. You would have thought I’d suggested Sainthood for Hitler! People came out of the woodwork with 50 alternatives better than Derek.
    But my taste is pretty diverse, I guess. My iPhone goes from Andrea Crouch black gospel to Rob Zombie Dragula with Willy and Steely Dan in the middle bookended with Mary Chapin Carpenter and Prince.
    Thanks for your comments.

  8. kansas karl says:

    be aware very aware that the Artist’s website does not mention BB King or Sonny Landreth as part of the Kansas City show, only Davy Knowles, both BB and Sonny are listed before and after the KC show, we may only be getting Frampton and Knowles. the Kaufman box office insists that both will be there, but the artist site says different, wondering minds want to know. Be sure and pay with a credit card so you can dispute the charge when only Frampton and Knowles show.

  9. paulwilsonkc says:

    Karl, I’ll check with my contacts at Kauffman but even their on site poster shows them all. And honestly, most of my interest IS Landreth & BB!
    I’ll check and get back to you.

  10. PB says:

    I can actually do w/o BB because at this point, he’s more of a museum piece, but dammit, Landreth needs to be there to justify the cost of my ticket. Not much of a Guitar Circus with just Frampton and Knowles.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      PG, I get your point about BB, but I guess I’d like to see him as his days of performing are coming to a close. Museum piece or not, he’s the King ofthe Blues in my mind. I just want one more shot.
      I just got back in the office, so I’ll email my people at Kauffman and confirm.

  11. paulwilsonkc says:

    Karl, PB, the Kauffman got back with me within minutes of my email stating they are contracted for Frampton, Landreth and BB. You know what that means; anything less than that and there would be problems.

    Larry said their web site and ticketing office will always have the most accurate info, since thats what they go from.

    Thanks for the question and I’m much relieved.

  12. PB says:

    Thanks for checking on that, Paul and I’m really with you on BB, he definitely does add to the stature of this show. I got to think that was just a typo on Frampton’s website as there are BB/Landreth appearances sandwiched right around the KC show within 2 or 3 days on either side. I think Davy Knowles was just added as a special guest to THAT show. If that’s indeed the case, we should be better off than most of the other tour stops although I am intigrued by the Nielsen/Carlton pairing along w/ BB/Landreth up in CB.

  13. kansas karl says:

    Knowing that promoters can say whatever they want and the Kaufman being the Kaufman lends credibility, however having been to 2 shoeboxes full of concert tickets so far, I tend to do a bit beyond the promoter’s word. I went to both BB’s and Sonny’s website checked the tour tab and both are scheduled to be here.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Totally get where youre coming from, but I was pretty sure thats what their sites said as my preview is posted on Frampton, Landreths and BB’s Facebook pages.
      I don’t think you’re ever going to catch the Kauffman jacking something up like that! They’ve been incredible people to work with. They are a client of mine in my professional world and I work with them doing these pieces, outstanding people all the way around. I couldnt say enough good about them.

  14. kansas karl says:

    I respect the efforts of the Kaufman, however when the artists website does not match what the promoter is saying I get antsy. I contacted Frampton’s website and they responded:
    Sonny Landreth, B.B. King and Davy Knowles will be performing in Kansas
    City. We apologize for the confusion. This has been fixed now and was
    correct on his Facebook Tour Page and the Live section of

  15. randyraley says:

    Saw Frampton about three years ago. Much sharper and focused than ever. Remember in his day, he was a prick who didn’t want his picture taken with anyone. He’s a pretty humble guy now. When I asked him why the change he said, “well, if you did the Sgt. Pepper movie AND “I’m in You”, you’d be that way too.” He came across as a real nice cat. His cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is about the only one I’ve heard that can even sniff the original.

  16. glenn says:

    Frampton was at Yardley Hall several years ago. Nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. Down to earth and funny.
    What’s wrong with the R&R Hall of Famers who refuse to induct him?

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