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Performances Song History Lyrics

Goin' Down Slow

Music/Lyrics: "St. Louis Jimmy" Oden

Vocals: Trey (lead); Page, Mike (backing)

Original Artist: "St. Louis Jimmy" Oden

Debut: 1990-09-13

Historian: Erik Swain

This venerable blues song, written and originally performed by “St. Louis Jimmy” Oden, is one of the mainstays of the genre. It has been covered dozens of times, including by Oden’s contemporaries such as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, and by rock figures like Eric Clapton and Duane Allman, whose version on Duane Allman: An Anthology (1972) is where many rock fans heard it first. The explanation for its staying power is simple: as a tale of a young man’s dying reflections after too much fast living, it’s a story rockers and blues men know all too well.

Phish’s version, which debuted with many other new selections at New York’s Wetlands Preserve on 9/13/90, doesn’t have the emotional power of, say, the Allmans’. But it is a perfectly respectable effort, highlighted by Trey’s chunky rhythm guitar work and strong three-part harmonies in the coda. Unfortunately, the band didn't give it a chance to develop further. After encoring with it the next night in Providence, it made just one more appearance (10/3/90) before being dropped from the rotation.

Duane Allman "Goin' Down Slow"

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