|Song by The Allman Brothers Band|
|from the album Eat a Peach|
|Released||1991 (Ludlow), 2003 (AIPF), July 1971 (Fillmore), 1972 (Eat A Peach)|
|Recorded||April 1970 (Ludlow), July 1970 (AIPF), March 1971 (Fillmore/Eat A Peach)|
|Genre||Jam rock, instrumental rock|
|Length||44:00 (Ludlow Garage), 17:27/28:20 (Atlanta International Pop Festival), 33:41 (Fillmore/Eat a Peach)|
|Label||Polydor, Epic / Legacy, Capricorn Records|
|Songwriter(s)||The Allman Brothers Band, Donovan|
"Mountain Jam" is an improvised instrumental jam by The Allman Brothers Band. The song's first known recording is on May 4, 1969 at Macon Central Park. "Mountain Jam" was originally released on the 1972 Eat a Peach album, as recorded at the Fillmore East concert hall, in March 1971. That is the rendition that is best known.
Other live recordings have been released on the albums Fillmore East, February 1970, Live at Ludlow Garage: 1970, Live at the Atlanta International Pop Festival: July 3 & 5, 1970, The Fillmore Concerts, and deluxe edition of At Fillmore East (1971). Notably, Live at the Atlanta International Pop Festival: July 3 & 5, 1970 contains two recordings of the song (the second of which features guest musicians Johnny Winter on slide guitar, and Thom Doucette on harmonica). In fact it makes its first appearance at the end of 1971's At Fillmore East when its first notes are heard and then faded out when it is started immediately out of "Whipping Post".
Origin and influences
The song is based on Donovan's 1967 hit single "There Is a Mountain"; Jimi Hendrix's "Third Stone from the Sun" is also quoted musically in the piece, roughly 22 minutes in. Also heard is a section of the hymn "Will the Circle Be Unbroken". On albums, the song first appeared on Donovan in Concert (1968) and then later on Donovan's Greatest Hits. There was also much interplay in the development of this song between The Allman Brothers Band and another influential jam band, The Grateful Dead.
Preceding The Allman Brothers Band's official release of the song, The Grateful Dead had briefly referenced "There Is a Mountain", both live and in studio. The Dead can be heard quoting a few bars of "There is a Mountain" in their song "Alligator", from the Dead's Anthem of the Sun album, released in 1968. An example of the Dead jamming live on the "There is a Mountain" riff can be heard at the 4:53 mark on the version of "Alligator" they performed at their August 21, 1968, show at the Fillmore West.
Conversely, after the Allman Brothers Band release, The Grateful Dead performed a 22:57 version of Mountain Jam on July 28, 1973, at the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen. They also played a 55-second version of "Mountain Jam" to transition between "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad" and "Not Fade Away" on November 6, 1970, at Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York. According to the Bill Graham book Bill Graham Presents, one night at the Fillmore East when The Allman Brothers were there with Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green Fleetwood Mac), and the Grateful Dead, Graham came into an area where Duane Allman, Peter Green, and Jerry Garcia were jamming together on Donovan's "First There is a Mountain". That was the genesis of "Mountain Jam".
33:41 in length in its March 1971 Eat a Peach performance, the song is instrumental and features solos from all of the band members. Duane Allman starts with a guitar solo, after which Gregg Allman solos on Hammond organ, followed by a guitar solo by Dickey Betts. Midway through the song there is a drum duet by Butch Trucks and Jaimoe, later joined by a bass guitar solo by Berry Oakley. Then Duane comes back in for the slide guitar climax, and produces some of his best-known slide guitar, 23 minutes in.
- "Grateful Dead Live at Grand Prix Racecourse on 1973-07-28 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Archive.org. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
- "Grateful Dead Live at Capitol Theater on 1970-06-24 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Archive.org. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
- Bill Graham Presents