Mountain Of Love – Brixton Windmill, London, 18.Feb 2011

Way down below, there’s a half a million people

Otis, the Harp Surgery’s Postman, delivered a lovely letter this morning from our harp friend Piers Marsh, inviting us to see his new band at the Brixton Windmill on 18.Feb 2011. Their name is Mountain Of Love (after Piers’ Alabama 3 pseudonym naturally). We understand Sir Eddie Real of Alabama 3 is also part of the new set up.

We do urge everyone to check out the new grooves. The first MOL album is a work in progress, however you can catch a sneak preview on youtube. MOL has a myspace page, and describes it’s new sound as down-tempo, dub and elctronica. No doubt there will be some harmonica in there somewhere. There is also a Facebook page and a dedicated website in the pipeline.

Somewhere there’s a church with a big tall steeple

Harp Surgery had the great pleasure of interviewing Piers when Alabama 3 played in Brighton at the end of 2008.

He was endearingly embarrassed to be an interviewee. Pointing a finger at the front men as they ghosted by, ‘they usually get all the attention’, he quipped. He is engaging, open and instantly likable. I could have been chatting to an old school mate I hadn’t seen for years. One who had attracted the media spotlight, reveled in the creative experience, but remained unerringly normal. The word ‘grounded’ springs to mind.

Inside a church there’s an altar filled with flowers

We also enquired as to the origins of the pseudonym. Piers told us the name had been given to him and was taken from an old country or gospel song. The track has been covered by many artists, including the Beach Boys and Bruce Springsteen.

Anyway, now you’ve booked your ticket to see Mountain Of Love, let’s see what else we can find out about that song. See you at the gig.

Wedding bells are ringing and they sould have been ours

The 1964 Johnny Rivers version of Mountain Of Love, with its hint of Louisiana, was always going to be the one that caught the Harp Surgery’s ear. It has a healthy old dollop of the old lickin’ stick aftr all. But although Johnny dabbled in the harp, he drafted in former Sun Records rockabilly artist Billy Lee ‘Red Hot’ Riley to lay down the harmonica sequence on his hit single.

Billy Lee Riley’s harp playing can be heard on the following albums: Harmonica & the Blues, Crown, 1962 / Big Harmonica Special, Mercury, 1964 / Harmonica Beatlemania, Mercury, 1965.

That’s why I’m so lonely, my dreams gone above, high on a mountain of love

7 thoughts on “Mountain Of Love – Brixton Windmill, London, 18.Feb 2011

  • February 23, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    What a great band….thanks for the recommendation, love Alabama 3, and this is different, I am hooked 😉

  • March 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Carlos! Glad you made it and thanks for your feedback. Afraid I was away working so didn’t get to the show. Looking forward to catching them very soon. Piers is a really top geezer.

  • August 6, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    I’m just learning how to play the harp, have a few songs down like, sweet virginia, heart of gold. and simple beatles songs like, from me to you. and love me do, on u-tupe where they have someone actually showing note by note how to play the harp solo version, which helps a lot. but can’t find mountain of love, the solo part. I have the tabs, but can’t seem to get it. Could you post one? Thanks

  • August 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Hi Steven – I’ll add it to the list!

  • November 30, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    sorry man, but i’m still waiting for the note by note lesson on how to play the solo harmonica part of Mountain of love. thank you

  • December 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Steven,
    You are on a our ‘to do’ list! We assure you that this will be attended to as soon as we can free up some time. Thanks for your patience.

  • March 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Sounds like he’s using a key of A harmonica. (the song’s in E, but
    he’s playing what’s known as “cross harp.”)*
    The first two notes of the solo are draws on the 4th hole, the next is
    a blow on the same hole Then a draw on 3. Those are the main
    notes and each phrase ends on a blow on 3.
    If you fool around with those four notes (draw 4, blow 4, draw 3, blow 3)
    you should be able to work out most of the song.
    *you could get the same effect by playing a C harp while a guitar is in G….or a G harp
    with a guitar in D.)

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