If You Need a Fool

Originally Performed ByThe Del McCoury Band
Original AlbumBlue Side of Town (1992)
Music/LyricsSteve Earle
VocalsPhish; Del McCoury and Phish (7/18/99)
Phish Debut1998-07-29
Last Played1999-07-18
Current Gap817
HistorianChristian 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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