Thanks To Jimmy Herring We Got Mountain Jam Back – Watch Herring/Trucks Version of The Allmans Tear Up The Instrumental
The year 2000 was one of the most tumultuous in the history of the Allman Brothers Band as in May of that year original member Dickey Betts was relieved of his duties, supposedly by fax. At first it was reported that Betts was suspended from the band, but that eventually became a full-on divorce. The remaining members of the band had a full summer tour booked and brought fellow southern rocker Jimmy Herring in to fill Betts’ hard-to-fill shoes for the lengthy three-month run.
When Herring took the stage with the Allman Brothers Band for the first show of the tour on June 16th, 2000 in Virginia Beach, Virginia the group opened with a song they hadn’t performed since the ’70s – Mountain Jam. The song was a centerpiece of the Allman’s live sets dating back to 1969 after, legend has it, they heard the Grateful Dead incorporate some of Donovan’s First There Is A Mountain into a jam. Mountain Jam gave each member of the ABB a chance to shine and there are a number of riveting takes on the lengthy instrumental from every incarnation of the band through the Mid ’70s.
For some reason Mountain Jam was put on ice and none of the reunited versions of the Allman Brothers Band featuring Dickey Betts touched the tune, with the exception of a small excerpt weaved into Jessica in the ’90s. Yet the first song the group performed upon Betts departure was the long lost Mountain Jam. Herring’s lightning-fast guitar skills were on full display as he generally took the first solo in the song which was played at all but a handful of shows that summer. Jimmy left the band after that tour and was replaced by Warren Haynes, yet Mountain Jam has remained in the active repertoire ever since. For a look at just how good Mountain Jam was during the summer of 2000 with Jimmy Herring and Derek Trucks on guitar, check out these videos featuring 27 amazing minutes of improv…