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…

Allman Brothers Band – Mountain Jam Pt. 1 (Live – 06/24/00)

Allman Brothers Band – Mountain Jam Pt. 2 (Live – 06/24/00)

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2 Responses

  1. Great article Scott! I remember this summer well and the buzz that came with the realization that this JImmy Herring / Derek Trucks experiment was not just good but GREAT…I was fortunate to see them at Red Rocks that year and the end of their set is one of my all time favorite sections of music ever seen on the Rocks.

    Stormy Monday (w/ Susan Tedeschi)
    Hot ‘lanta
    Statesboro Blues (W/John Popper)
    Dreams
    Mountain Jam
    Revival
    E: Whipping Post

  2. There are two summers since the bad reformed in 1989 that are legendary for their instrumentals: 1996 (The Summer of True Gravity) and 2000 (Mtn Jam). In both cases the current version of the band just shined repeatedly. In 1996 it was on a tune that hasn’t gotten much of a workout ever. 2000 was when the band reintroduced a classic we’d all been clamoring for.

    I believe 2000 is where the ABB recaptured its mojo and is a very underrated year in the band’s history. Derek & Jimmy sounded so good together. Musical brothers like Duane and Dickey. Heck, even Gregg’s B3 work sounded inspired.

    So glad y’all posted this. By far my fav version of Mtn Jam from that summer is 9/23/00. A terrific show all around!

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