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Performances Song History

My Soul

Vocals: Trey (lead), All (backing)

Original Artist: Clifton Chenier

Original Album: Single (1957)

Albums: Live Phish 05, Walnut Creek, Hampton/Winston-Salem '97, Live In Utica, Ventura

Debut: 1997-02-13

Historian: phish.net song history staff

Last Update: 2014-07-15

Clifton Chenier was a mid-20th-century music pioneer who some credit as the grandfather of American Zydeco. Drawing on his background of R&B, blues, and rock, Chenier wrote and played songs with raw energy and determination and brought an element of rock and roll to zydeco that, to that point, had not been seen before.



Clifton Chenier, “My Soul”

Some comparisons to Phish are actually quite interesting: he was known as a showman (sometimes wearing a cape and/or crown to his performances) and he carved out his niche via a non-stop touring schedule. Phish began performing his blues number “My Soul” in 1997, nearly ten years after Chenier’s death. 



Phish, “My Soul” – 2/18/97, Paris, France

Fans seem split in their opinions on this number; some enjoyed the energy and raw blues power while others find the simplistic structure repetitive and boring. For those in the latter category, it didn’t help that it was, for a while, the most frequently played song on tour… or maybe it just seemed that way. “My Soul” was in heavy rotation in 1997 and 1998 and, though played somewhat less, was still a regular in 1999 and 2000. After the hiatus, though, "My Soul" disappeared for the entirety of 2.0. It was resurrected on 12/28/09 Miami and has remained in modest rotation since; though versions are essentially interchangeable, check out versions appearing in otherwise outstanding shows such as 10/20/10 Utica (Live in Utica DVD), the 1/1/11 MSG show opener, or 8/4/13 San Francisco.



Phish, “My Soul” – 1/1/11, New York, NY

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