Mountain Jam

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"Mountain Jam"
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
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 during the same sessions that produced their prior live double album At Fillmore East. 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[edit]

There was much interplay in the development of this song between The Allman Brothers Band and another influential jam band, the Grateful Dead. According to the book Bill Graham Presents, one night at the Fillmore East when The Allman Brothers were there with the Grateful Dead and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Graham came into an area where Duane Allman, Peter Green, and Jerry Garcia were jamming together on Donovan's 1967 hit single "There Is a Mountain";[1] 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".

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. They can be heard quoting a few bars of "There is a Mountain" in their song "Alligator" on their 1968 album Anthem of the Sun. 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.[2] 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.[3]

Structure[edit]

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.

Notes[edit]