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KANSAS CITY BLUES (Fort Baxter C5-1001) (Released 2005)

1. Review by Mike Sanders

See original release
on A Profile Vol. 1
Kansas City, June 29 1974 E.S.

See See Rider
When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again/Blue Christmas
I Got A Woman/Amen
Love Me
Trying To Get To You
All Shook Up
Love Me Tender
Hound Dog
Polk Salad Annie
Why Me, Lord
Suspicious Minds
Band introductions
I Can't Stop Loving You
Help Me
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Let Me Be There (w/ reprise)
Funny How Time Slips Away (w/ reprise) (*)
Big Boss Man (*)
Steamroller Blues (*)
Can't Help Falling In Love (*)

(*) Recorded at Milwaukee, June 28, 1974.

Content: 4  Sound: 4  Artwork: 5

1. Review by Mike Sanders

This is a reissue of a concert previously available on Fort Baxter's, A PROFILE - THE KING ON STAGE Volume 1, which comprises the evening concert at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, recorded on the 29th June 1974, with the final 4 songs from Milwaukee recorded the previous evening, as it seems the show was not recorded in its entirety. It was originally issued with 2 closing songs from Dayton (E.S.) from the evening concert on October 6th 1974. The first thing to note is the wonderful packaging containing a 12-page booklet with colour photos from both these shows and others from the same tour, similar to those supplied with the Madison releases.

The concert opens with a standard version of 'See See Rider' and the sound and mix prove to be fine for a soundboard recording. Elvis is in a relaxed and humorous mood and greets the audience with "Good Evening, it is evening, isn't it?" During the Well Well's preceding 'I Got a Woman', Elvis gets a fit of the giggles and retorts "Thanks , it's been nice laughing with you." He then teases the audience (and the band) with one line of 'When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again' and then one verse of 'Blue Christmas'.

'I Got A Woman' immediately follows with extended carrying on before J.D.'s "low note" which spoils this version as it starts out well.

'Love Me' features a lyric change (break my faithful neck) after which Elvis asks someone in the crowd to refrain from throwing batteries!! A reasonably good version of 'Trying To Get To You' follows this. After 'All Shook Up' a fan presents Elvis with a large stuffed Gorilla and his subsequent comments, "Don't you move, you big son of a bitch" and "I told the Colonel to stay off the stage", provoke much laughter from the crowd and stage.

The songs that follow are given a routine workout and as such are unremarkable. 'Why Me Lord' is thankfully given a sincere performance, without the jokes at J.D.'s expense that would forever spoil this song in later concerts. During the introductions there are various humorous asides. Kathy Westmoreland is asked "Why aren't you wearing your see through blouse this evening, dear?" and Ronnie Tutt is introduced as "On the drums, from up a tree!", possibly a reference to the Gorilla’s presence on the stage.

"You know what I can’t do?" leads in to an average 'I Can't Stop Loving You' and afterwards he promotes his new record 'If You Talk In Your Sleep' by singing the B side – 'Help Me', containing the lyric change "With a humble heart and a wounded knee". 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' is then performed with no real involvement, followed by 'Let Me Be There' which despite a reprised ending, still sounds to me as if he is on auto pilot.

Then, unfortunately, the sound dips as we change venue to Milwaukee for the remaining 4 songs. Of these songs, only 'Steamroller Blues' is worthy of note and receives a committed performance. In my view it is probably the best performance on this CD and it is therefore unfortunate that the sound is not as clear as on the earlier songs.

In conclusion - in my opinion - this is a pleasant, but uninspired (routine) show lacking any real passion or commitment. The most interesting part of this show is the inclusion of one verse of 'Blue Christmas' immediately prior to 'I Got A Woman'. This, together with its presentation may well entice you to add this to your collection, but musically we have heard much better and I consider there have been more interesting shows. Hopefully, Fort Baxter will release some of these in this tempting new format.

Show rating: 3
Sound rating: 4
Art Work: 5

© (UK), July 2005

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