Hail to the King

Much like Ol' Saint Nick, Elvis Presley was a giving man. As well as contributing to a long list of favorite charities, Elvis handed out cash, cars and even houses to friends and to strangers in need. That's why Christmas was his favorite holiday, according to Chris Barber, aka the Velvet Elvis, Denver's own answer to the king of rock and roll. Barber will shake, rattle and roll in the holiday tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret, 1601 Arapahoe Street, when he resurrects Elvis's Christmas album and a few other favorites during the Blue Blue Christmas Show.

Backed by Susan Phelan on standup bass and Colfax Guitar Shop legend Scott Baxendale on lead guitar, Barber will start the night with Elvis's Blue Christmas rockabilly era. For the second act, he'll channel the '70s Elvis in full jumpsuit regalia — and since no one loved his mother more than the King, Barber will also bring his mom on stage to play piano for a couple of numbers.

Barber loves how Elvis touches every generation. He's had Elvis-obsessed kids drag their parents to shows, and his often dead-on impersonation has quite an effect on older fans — especially older ladies. "I sang 'Love Me Tender' to an eighty-year-old woman and kissed her, and she told me, 'That was the best kiss I've had in fifty years,'" Barber reveals.

Bring a little mistletoe, and maybe the Velvet Elvis will love you tender, too.

Advance tickets are $20 — available at www.lannies.com or by calling 303-293-0075 — or $25 at the door.
Sun., Dec. 23, 7:30 p.m., 2007

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Michelle Baldwin