John Popper isn’t the only noted harmonica player to guest with Phish. Sugar Blue is best known for the signature harmonica lick on the Rolling Stones’ “Miss You.” He has even recorded his own interpretation of the song on his album Blue Blazes. In addition to his own albums (including a famous take of Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Help Me”), Sugar Blue has recorded with Bob Dylan, Stan Getz and Willie Dixon and has toured with the Rolling Stones and Prince, among others.
His Phish appearances have usually been memorable late-show and encore slots in the Midwest. The first, on 4/10/93, saw Blue punctuate standards “Funky Bitch” and “Cavern,” as well as “Hoochie Coochie Man” and the aforementioned “Help Me.” He ripped out “Hoochie Coochie Man” again on 8/8/97, along with “Messin’ With the Kid.” On 10/3/99, blues fans were treated to a dream lineup as both Sugar Blue and Son Seals jammed on “Messin’ With the Kid” and “Funky Bitch.” One of his guest appearances was included in Phish’s career highlights video shown at setbreak of the 20th anniversary show on 12/2/03.
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