This concert was announced over a year ago, but finally it has been released. We reviewed the CD "Trying to get to you" on the Texas Records label, but now this show has also been with the title "Howdy Houston". The concert has been released on CDR already. Except for the design this review is the same as the "Trying To Get To You". Except it misses the first three tracks that CD has (added from another concert to "complete" the full concert experience") review since we're talking about the same concert and probably same recording.
The set comes with a a two page booklet with some good images from around 1970 but they have no relation to this release containing the June 5th 1975 concert. We're not too font of these "funny" images of Elvis wearing a hat, why not use a good concert photo?
This CD looks like a complete show, but it isn't. It fades in half way "Amen / I Got A Woman". The ending of the show, "Can't help falling In Love" and the closing theme are from the June 4 concert in Houston. The rest of the concert is from June 5th, also Houston. The recording itself is a soundboard and the quality is good.
The show opens with the usual "Amen/I Got A Woman". Elvis encourages JD to do his trick again. This takes a while, for some moment we thought the drums were going to finish the song, but finally JD does his thing. Overall very messy.
The rest of the show Elvis' voice sounds flat and it sounds like he doesn't have enough breath to really sing with all the power we know he has. On songs which are up tempo like "Burning Love" and songs which need a powerful voice, like "The Wonder Of You" and "How Great Thou Art" you really hear this. Fortunately Elvis has a great band backing him up so most songs are still "rocking". "You gave Me A Mountain" (done for the first time in this tour} and of course "American Trilogy" were the best performances of the show. Overall Elvis is in a good mood and it sound like he is enjoying himself on stage making jokes and laughing. Too bad his voice isn't too good.
It looks like a long show, 35 tracks, but every track is numbered individually. Including "Elvis say's Howdy", Elvis talking about "That's The Way It Is" being screened on television, talking while changing his scarf, doing a lot of introductions, including the sound engineers, Elvis explains the song "Little Darling" and finally Elvis turning on the house lights is a track.
The set itself is an incomplete concert, but presented as a "complete" concert except for the opening theme. The sound quality of this soundboard is good, too bad Elvis performance isn't. He is in a good mood, but probably not in a good physical state because you hear he hasn't enough volume for the up-tempo songs and ballads which demand a lot of vocal power.
Playing time: 61'00/ Sound quality: 8/ Content 6/ Cover art: 5