Billboard Bits: Smith, Frampton, Bluerunners

Stories on Patti Smith tour date, a "lost" Peter Frampton live album and a new Bluerunners album.

Patti SmithThe Patti Smith Group has slated a handful of December tour dates, kicking off Dec. 8 in Pittsburgh. At deadline, the itinerary consists of six dates, finished off by a Dec. 29-31 stand at New York's Bowery Ballroom. It is unknown if more shows will fill in the gap.

Smith's latest album, "Trampin'" (Columbia), bowed in May at No. 15 on Billboard's Top Internet Albums chart and at No. 129 on The Billboard 200.

Here are Smith's tour dates:

Dec. 8: Pittsburgh (Carnegie Music Hall)
Dec. 9: Washington, D.C. (930 Club)
Dec. 11: Philadelphia (Theater of the Living Arts)
Dec. 29-31: New York (Bowery Ballroom)

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

FramptonA 1975 Peter Frampton concert broadcast live on KSAN San Francisco will make its debut on CD via Hip-O Select and will be made available exclusively through the label's Web site beginning tomorrow (Nov. 19). The title is limited to a run of 15,000 copies.

The March 24 show at the Record Plant in Sausalito, Calif., found Frampton backed by keyboardist Bob Mayo, guitarist Andy Bown and drummer John Siomos. The group performed songs from his first four studio albums, much in the same way the material would be heard on his breakthrough the following year, "Frampton Comes Alive."

Overseen by Frampton, "Live in San Francisco - March 24, 1975" was produced by Bill Levenson and remastered from original master tapes that captured the broadcast as it went out on the air. The set features liner notes by Bay Area music critic Joel Selvin.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

BluerunnersSouthwest Louisiana-based rock act the Bluerunners will appropriately release "Honey Slides," their first album in four years, during the week leading up to the annual Mardi Gras celebrations. Due Jan. 25 via the band's own Bayou Vista Records (distributed by Redeye), the set boasts guest appearances by vocalist Susan Cowsill, renowned Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet and guitarist Sonny Landreth.

The 13-track album boasts nine originals, as well as covers including such Bayou classics as Clifton and Cleveland Chenier's "Working Man's Zydeco," Conray Fontenot's "Coulee Rodaire" and Jessie Mae Hemphill's "Black Cat Bone."

"'Honey Slides' is our most fully realized album in terms of songwriting, production and good vibes coming together at the right time," says groupleader Mark Meaux (mandolin/guitar/songwriter). The set is the follow-up to 2001's "Le Grand Bleu" (Louisiana Red Hot).

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.