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Canadian Festival Express 1970

Canadian Festival Express 1970

About this release

 Mountain was formed in 1969 by guitarist Leslie West and bassist and former Cream producer Felix Pappalardi The two met while West was a member of Long Island R&B band the Vagrants When West left the Vagrants to record a solo album it was agreed that Felix Pappalardi would produce the said album which was entitled Mountain. The sessions for the album went so well that it was decided that the pair would form a band and the band would take its name from Leslie’s album. So it was that Mountain was born. Joining Leslie and Felix was drummer N.D. Smart who had also played on Leslie’s album and keyboard player Steve Knight. The band started to gig and whilst the response was positive no one would have dreamed how big the audience would be for the bands fourth gig. In August 1969 Mountain along with the likes of the Who, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills Nash and Young and of course Jimi Hendrix played at the Woodstock festival in upstate New York.

Following this momentous performance however the band decided on a change in personnel and Canadian drummer Corky Laing was in at the expense of ND Smart. Their debut album, 1970's Mountain Climbing, went gold, thanks in part to the hard rock classic "Mississippi Queen." There was however other tracks such as Yasgur’s Farm, Never In My Life and a cover of the Jack Bruce song Theme For An Imaginary Western that would all form the backbone of the bands live set for the next thirty years. Despite the comings and goings of various members over the years including the tragic murder of founder member Felix Pappalardi the core of West and Laing has continued to work as Mountain and in a live situation the band have rarely been bettered.

The performances contained on the Mountain Bootleg Series are drawn from various stages of the bands career from the very early years when the band first formed through to recent gigs undertaken by the band. All the performances come from the personal archives of both Leslie West and Corky Laing and whilst some of the performances are not sonically perfect the quality of the performances are never in question and as Corky Laing says “Some of the performances are real interesting”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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