Vocals: Trey (lead), All (backing)
Original Artist: Clifton Chenier
Original Album: Single (1957)
Historian: Craig DeLucia
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. 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.
Fans seem split in their opinions on this number; some enjoyed the energy and raw blues power while others found it repetitive (especially the chorus) 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. It remained in standard 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. It was sound-checked in 2003, but would remain in purgatory until it was resurrected on 12/28/09. Since then, it has only been seen again at the 6/27/10 Merriweather show -- not the only song fans "saw again" that night.
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There is one from summer 97 where they jam into a My Soul jam, (From Jim maybe?) and then into the beginning of My Soul. Almost like a Disco Biscuits "inversion" but several years ahead of the fact. Great jam whichever the show was.