Kind Of Blues (Mid Valley MV 003/004)
The Forum, Los Angeles – November 3, 1994
Disc1. Motherless Child (Fillmore) – Malted Milk – How Long Blues – Kidman Blues – County Jail – .44 – Blues Leave Me Alone – Standin’ Around Crying – Hoochie Coochie Man – It Hurts Me Too – Blues Before Sunrise – Third Degree – Reconsider Baby – Sinner’s Prayer – Can’t Judge Nobody
Disc2. Someday After A While – Tore Down – Have You Ever Loved A Woman – Crosscut Saw – Five Long Years – Crossroads – Groaning the Blues – Aint’ Nobody’s Bizness – Sweet Home Chicago
EC’s Blues Tour of 1994 began at the Montreal Forum (Montreal, Quebec) on October 3 and finished at the Irving Plaza in New York on November 28, which means “Kind Of Blues” was recorded halfway through the tour. The Forum is a big venue and is far away from the atmosphere of the small clubs EC would end up playing on this tour, but EC is still far away from sounding tired of performing the same routine.
Jimmie Vaughn was the support act for EC’s 1994 Tour and often joined him on stage for the encore. This was the case and they performed a great “Sweet Home Chicago” together. (This would be repeated in 1998 when Jimmie again opened for EC in Europe).
Mid Valley’s second release ever treat us to a beautiful but kind-of-incomplete soundboard recording. “Motherless Child” is the first song on disc1 but it is taken from one of the shows at the Fillmore West which would take place some days later in an effort to make this a “complete show”.
Always loved it but always thought the first half of the show didn’t let EC have much room for guitar improvisation. I love listening to renditions of old blues tunes like “Malted Milk”, “How Long” and “It Hurts Me Too” and although EC sings and plays his heart out in each song, it’s got to be from “Third Degree” onwards that I enjoy these blues shows most.
It’s obvious that EC is on from the beginning of the gig and there are times that his guitar playing, even being excellent! – just takes second stage to his vocals!!
Highlights of the show have got to be “Third Degree”, “Tore Down” and “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” all being outstanding performances. “Crossroads” has a good intro before it sounds like “Willie And The Hand Jive” and turns into “Crossroads” again. EC introduces “Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness” as his “favourite song of all”, which makes me wonder (again) why it was not included on the “From The Cradle” album. Needless to say, EC is great on vocals before the whole band joins him for a powerful reprise. For the encore EC comes back on stage with Jimmie Vaughn to play “Sweet Home Chicago”.
On his return to his musical roots EC played amazingly well all along this tour and we fans must be extremely happy that this tour was so well documented for posterity. “Kind Of Blues” is an extraordinaire example of that and is a “must have” for any collector.