Eric Clapton – Kind Of Blues (Mid Valley MV 003/004)

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.

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  1. I need to learn to re-read before I post. But I have been thinking about buying the License plate version also, I think it’s readily available. Just wondering if it’s the same version of MV’s.

  2. There is also a reissue of this from Mid Valley (MVR 326/327) under the same title and was reasonably priced. It claims to be digitally remastered but I don’t know how it compares to the Mid Valley original.

  3. I have the “E.C. IS HERE” label version of this show titled”BLUESMN” which for me is a very warm sounding excellent SB recording. I love the whole show of Eric playing his favorite old blues songs and especially enjoyed the acoustic numbers at the beginning of the set. This title comes in a unique package. It comes in a thin rectangular cardboard case, which opens like a book, and is the size and shape of a State of California automobile license plate it is designed to simulate. The front has “California” in small yellow letters on top and “BLUESMN” in big yellow letters below. The back has “FORUM,LA,CA,NOV.3RD,1994” in small yellow letters on top and “ERCCLPTN” in large yellow letters below against a black background. There is a small attached cardboard pouch inside which hold both discs. I don’t know how this title compares with the MV title reviewed above but it is an excellent, possibly less expensive, option and should be easier to find as the MV title was sold out with every vendor I tried. it is also highly recommended.

    There is also a very nice single DVD release on the European “Way of Wizards”(WOW) label of the November 7th, 1994 Fillmore West show, titled “At the Fillmore”, which claims to be a single camera proshot video by Martin Scorcese as a practice run for the filming of the subsequent shows for a never released EC Offical DVD. It is hard to say if this is true or if this is just a well shot audience video but it is VG video quality and has a VG+/EX SB audio soundtrack. Worth searching out if you like EC’s 94 tour blues classics shows….I will try to do a more complete review of the DVD when time permits….

  4. I was just surfing around this site, killing time at work. I have this and it is an excellent quality recording, that’s well established. But, I was at this show and I don’t think it is actually from L.A. This was easily one of the best concerts i ahve ever seen. Claptons playing was on that night, and I mean one of those nights where he is realy on. If you have evr been luckily enough to see catch him on one of those nights, you just how good he can be. His playing is not the same on this release. “Sinners Prayer” was extended way longer and his playing was much more fluid. Infact more fluid throught the whole concert. But mainly, the acoustic set was much longer than on here and, at the time I was dating the loudest girl in the world. We were in the 17th. row, and for some reason,during “Third Degree”, which is slow blues, she just started shouting “EEEERRIIIIIC”, incredibly loud. I don’t why, and she was pissing people off. But, I guarantee that she would be picked up and heard by the stage mic’s. I don’t hear her on the CD. It’s one of the reasons why I hunted this down when I found out this wasout. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a smokin release, easily the best from this tour, which was one of his best, I can’t recomend it enough.


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