Kim Carnes - lead vocals, piano; jerry Peterson - sax; Steve Goldstein - keyboards; Josh Leo - guitar; Bill Cuomo - keyboards; Craig Krampf - drums; M.L. Benoit- percussion; Craig Hull - guitar; Bryan Garofalo - bass; Daniel Moore - backing vocals; Dave Ellingson - backing vocals
Music industry insiders are still baffled as to why Kim Carnes did not become a huge, lasting international star. She had top management (Ken Kragen, when he had Kenny Rogers at his peak); a Top 10 duet with Rogers called "Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer;" and she had written songs with husband Dave Ellingson for Rogers, Big Mama Thorton, and others. When her sixth album, 1981's Mistaken Identity, hit the top of the charts on the strength of her hit single "Bette Davis Eyes," most people thought she was on the way to superstardom. Although she saw considerable chart and concert success through the 1980s, she never made the breakthrough to A-level status, despite the fact that she was doing duets with the likes of Barbara Streisand.
"Bette Davis Eyes" was immediately gobbled up by radio programmers as one of the hottest tracks of 1981. It sat in the Top 10 for nearly nine weeks. She could have been destined to become what Tina Turner became three years later, but it never happened. Some point to Carnes' raspy, Rod Stewart sound-alike vocals, while others feel that the material after Mistaken Identity just didn't come close to that superior record.
This show was recorded originally for the King Biscuit Flower Hour on Carnes' 1981 Mistaken Identity tour; probably her best live outing. Her band was made up of great session players (guitarist Craig Hull, keyboardist Bill Cuomo, and ace drummer Craig Krampf, among them)—the same musicians she used on the record. They are tight and energetic throughout, and provide solid backing. Carnes, although not the most dynamic entertainer on the planet, was certainly comfortable in her musical element. She does strong versions of "Say You Don't Know Me" and "Mistaken Identity," as well as a lively take of "Bette Davis Eyes" (which was actually written by '60s pop-star Jackie DeShannon in 1974 with Donna Weiss).
She does a fair number of covers, including the Miracles' "More Love," the Box Tops' "Cry Like A Baby," and the Elvis classic "Don't Be Cruel." Another highlight is her version of the Stones classic "Under My Thumb," which is great to hear sung from a woman's standpoint.