“I’LL warn you now,” says Corky Laing, “I’ve had 14 cups of coffee so you’ll have to keep up with me.”

Keeping up with Corky is something musicians have been trying to do for over 50 years. He’s played at Woodstock; with his band Mountain he helped define what we now recognise as classic rock and at 70 the powerhouse drummer remains very much a force of nature.

On Sunday, he will bring his band to headline the Clitheroe Blues, Rhythm and Rock Festival and he’s approaching the gig with the enthusiasm of a teenager.

Part of the reason for that is the band Corky has with him - a relatively new line-up which he admits has given him a new lease of life.

“I’ve got to say this line-up has reinvigorated me,” he said. “It feels like I’m starting over at 70, that excitement is there and I can’t wait to get to Clitheroe and play for the fans.

“It helps that were will be playing a repertoire which has managed to last. Look, Mountain weren’t Led Zeppelin, we don’t have a huge following but we did have a great stay for a few years and came out with some really solid songs.”

Mountain remain best known for the songs Mississippi Queen and Nantucket Sleighride which has a special resonance with British audiences.

“A lot of people don’t know it but they know Nantucket Sleighride,” said Corky. “The middle section of it was used as the theme for the BBC news for a number of years - you can’t get better promotion than that, being played in millions of homes every night!”

Corky will be playing Mountain songs with his new line-up which features Chris Shutters on guitar, Mark Mikel on bass and keyboards and - for Clitheroe - Uriah Heap guitarist Phil Baker.

And he readily admits that fans will be getting the chance to hear classic versions of the songs.

“I’m not afraid to admit that towards the ending of playing with Leslie (Leslie West, the band’s founder and guitarist) we did too much and it was all a bit messy,” said Corky. “We had got away from the songs that fans wanted to hear.”

It was a conversation with lifelong Mountain fan and member of Government Mule, Warren Hayes, which led to Corky reassessing his music.

“He’d seen the last couple of decades with Leslie and myself and said he didn’t recognise the songs. He said ‘you guys are doing so much jamming’ and he was right.”

After Mountain’s final live shows in 2010 Corky has been playing with various line-ups but it is the current set of musicians who have really inspired him.

“The new members are players I’ve been looking out for for years,” he said. “When we first got together last December it was like giving myself a Christmas present.”

The new line-up recorded their first gig and that has become a live album and accompanying DVD which has just been released.

“I’ve been lucky that I’ve often been in the right place at the right time,” said Corky. “I can’t believe I’ve lived this long. It’s a blessing not to be taken for granted. “

Corky Laing headlines the Clitheroe Blues, Rhythm and Rock Festival at Clitheroe Grand on Sunday, October 14. Also appearing are Chantel McGregor, the Stevie Nimmo Trio, Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion Catfish and Southbound. Details from 01200 421599