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 this show will also be released on the Lone Star label with the title "Howdy Houston". The concert has been released on CDR already. This release was named after the song "Trying To Get To You" which Elvis performed for the first time during this tour.
The set comes with an eight page booklet, something we don't see too often anymore. The liner notes are from Christopher Brown describing spending June 5th 1975 building up to seeing Elvis in concert that day. Inside are three more photo's including one we would have chosen for the cover.
We received an email from Christopher Brown. He wasn't too happy part of his book "On Tour With Elvis" were used without permission. He asked us to add the following:
"If you're going to use an unauthorized excerpt from my book "On Tour With Elvis", as liner notes for your new release, "Trying To get To You", the least you can do is send me a free copy to: Chris Brown, 50 Dominy Drive, Ajax, Ontario, Canada. L1T 3B9."
This CD looks like a complete show, but it isn't. The first three tracks, from the 2001 theme until Elvis greeting the audience, are from the June 10 concert in Memphis and 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 Theme from 2001/CC Rider/Amen. 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 experience from the opening theme until the closing vamp. 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: 69'02/ Sound quality: 8/ Content 6/
Cover art: 7