Mountain- Canadian Festival Express 28 June 1970 Vol. 10 (Voiceprint Records VPTMQO20CD)
Mountain- Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles 7 March 1970 Vol 12 (Voiceprint Records VPTMQO23CD)


From Aural Innovations #35 (January 2007)

These are two of the latest volumes in the series of live archive Mountain CDs being released on the Voiceprint label. The label has released shows as early as 1969 and as recent as 2005 in the series. These two are quite interesting as Mountain was heading up to the peak at this time, less than a year after they played at Woodstock and Jimi Hendrix had been talking about Leslie West. Let's take the March 1970 show first. Both of these are audience recordings, with the LA one being the best quality. The LA shows starts off with Long Red and Leslie has a great tone and the bass is thumping. The band play pretty straight up versions of Theme for an Imaginary Western, Dreams of Milk and Honey (fucking great riff) and Leslie really rips it up on this one, starting with a guitar solo. The band really stretches out on the 11 min Stormy Monday. Their take is very slow and totally different than, say, the Allman Brothers. Mississippi Queen is another great number. The Woodstock dedicated number, For Yasgur's Farm, is cool. I love the riff on Never in my Life but was surprised that the song is faded out at 2 minutes. The CD ends with a blues track, Dirty Shoes, which has a very ZZ TOP like riff.

The Canadian Festival Express is really a very different show. First off, the sound is not that good and the drums and vocals are a bit low and you can almost not hear the organ player at all. Despite this, the band rocks like hell and really spaces out and jams and you can always hear the all important guitar! The CD starts off with 3 songs not on the other CD (Blood on the Sun, Silver Paper and Hellhound on my Trail). Now the CD starts getting really interesting. Leslie begins Dreams of Milk and Honey with a long guitar solo and just kicks ass at the end. Next up is a really long 19 minute version of Stormy Monday, where the band sort of gets lost and just spaces out. Everyone is soloing. The CD ends with the classic Mississippi Queen. Great stuff.

For more information you can visit the Voiceprint web site at: http://www.voiceprint.co.uk.

Reviewed by Scott Heller


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