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Performances Song History

Back at the Chicken Shack

Music: Jimmy Smith

Vocals: Instrumental

Original Artist: Jimmy Smith

Original Album: Back at the Chicken Shack (1960)

Albums: Live Phish 08, Hampton/Winston-Salem '97

Debut: 1998-10-30

Historian: Chris Bertolet (bertoletdown)

The late Jimmy Smith (d. 2005) was a pioneer-devil whose Hammond B-3 stylings transformed what was once a kindly church organ into a greasy, dank cauldron of blues, funk and jazz. It’s no exaggeration to say that Smith created the language that’s spoken still today by John Medeski, Page McConnell and dozens of fleet-fingered keyboard masters making waves today on the vibrant London funk scene. Right up until his death at the age of 79, Jimmy was still pulling out the stops at jazz clubs around the world, and exchanging playful, off-color banter with his audience and band.

Phish sandwiched their debut of this blues number into the “Scent of a Mule” on 10/30/98 in Las Vegas, in the middle of a set that nodded to their own musical roots. This and subsequent versions (all pre-hiatus, the last on 9/24/00) provided fans with a chance to hear Page show off his chops.

Jimmy Smith, "Back at the Chicken Shack"

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