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Performances Song History Lyrics

Midnight on the Highway

Music/Lyrics: Tim O’Brien

Vocals: Mike

Original Artist: Hot Rize

Original Album: Hot Rize (1979)

Debut: 1996-11-23

Historian: Kazimierz O. Wrzeszczynski

This bluegrass number of Tim O’Brien and Hot Rize fame made its one and only Phish concert appearance in Vancouver on 11/23/96. Trey introduces the song in the middle of the first set by saying they “learned this one this morning, specifically for you” after “kind of a long night coming through the border [where] we met up with some funny people at the border.” It seems that a long and laborious Canadian border crossing for the tour late in the evening allowed Mike to teach the band this highly appropriate road song. The song was obviously fresh on the bassist’s mind since he recently played it on at least two occasions during some memorable acoustic shows featuring Mike on bass, Gordon Stone on banjo and Doug Perkins on guitar. This trio performed “Midnight on the Highway” on 10/1/96 at University of Vermont’s Slade Hall and 10/3/96 at the Last Elm Cafe in Burlington.

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