a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Performances Song History Lyrics

If You Need a Fool

Music/Lyrics: Steve Earle

Vocals: Phish; Del McCoury and Phish (7/18/99)

Original Artist: The Del McCoury Band

Original Album: Blue Side of Town (1992)

Debut: 1998-07-29

Historian: Christian McKee

There is confusion with the title on this one, and Mr. McCoury has been no help, announcing it onstage as “If You Need a Fool,” “Call Me If You Need A Fool” and “If You Need a Fool, Call Me.” Even if he seems to have Phish’s knack for mis-information, he and his band write and play the best bluegrass music out there today. Phish has played this tune on three occasions, the best being the version from Oswego in the summer of 1999 (7/18/99) featuring the Del McCoury Band. Trey’s glee is apparent throughout all the selections the two ensembles performed together, which included other McCoury originals (“Beauty of My Dreams,”) bluegrass standards (“I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome,”) and Phish originals (“Back On the Train.”) The song is also an occasional feature of soundchecks (see for example 8/8/98).

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