Mike Doughty

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For the rally co-driver, see Mike Doughty (co-driver).
Mike Doughty
Mike Doughty at the City Winery in NYC, Nov 24th, 2012.JPG
Mike Doughty at the City Winery NYC 11-24-2012
Background information
Birth name Michael R. Doughty[1]
Born (1970-06-10) June 10, 1970 (age 44)
Fort Knox, Kentucky
Genres Alternative Rock,
Indie Rock
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1992–
Labels ATO, MapleMusic Recordings (Canada), Megaforce Records
Associated acts Soul Coughing
Website www.mikedoughty.com

Mike Doughty (/ˈdt/ DOH-tee;[2] born June 10, 1970) is an American singer-songwriter and author. He founded the band Soul Coughing in the 1990s.

Early life[edit]

The son of an army officer — he spent his teenage years living on the grounds of the United States Military Academy at West Point — he came to New York City at age 19 to study poetry at the The New School, where singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco was one of his classmates in Sekou Sundiata's poetry course, "The Shape and Nature of Things to Come".[3]


Soul Coughing[edit]

While a doorman at the New York club The Knitting Factory (in that era, a hotbed of avant-garde jazz), Doughty founded Soul Coughing. The band released three critically and commercially successful albums, Ruby Vroom (1994), Irresistible Bliss (1996) and El Oso (1998). The greatest hits album Lust in Phaze was released in 2002.

Solo career[edit]

Doughty broke up Soul Coughing in 2000 due to personal problems: He was wearying of the band, and he was addicted to opiate painkillers, heroin, and alcohol. He was promptly dropped by Warner Brothers, and began traveling in a rental car (covering 9,000 miles on his first tour) playing acoustic shows. After shows he would sit at the front of the stage and sell copies of his acoustic album Skittish — then on CD-Rs in plain white sleeves. Warner Brothers had rejected the record in 1996.[4] During his three-year tour, Doughty sold 20,000 copies of Skittish and gradually developed a following independent of Soul Coughing.

He remained without a label until, when playing the Bonnaroo music festival in 2004, Doughty bumped into Dave Matthews, a longtime Soul Coughing fan who had the band open for him on two US tours, including shows at Madison Square Garden. When Matthews professed to be a fan of Doughty's solo record Rockity Roll and the song "27 Jennifers", Doughty gave him a CD with rough mixes of an album he had been working on in Minneapolis with singer-songwriter and producer Dan Wilson. Matthews eventually released the album on his ATO label as Haughty Melodic (an anagram for 'Michael Doughty'.) Haughty Melodic '​s single, "Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well," was featured on episodes of Veronica Mars and Grey's Anatomy, and appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, marking a return to the musical mainstream. He has since released a number of followup albums.

In 2012, Doughty published a memoir called The Book of Drugs, covering his formative years as a musician, what he called the "dark, abusive marriage" that was Soul Coughing, and his experiences with addiction and recovery.[5]

On September 17, 2013, Doughty released a crowd-funded[6] album remaking a collection of old Soul Coughing songs. The official album name consists of the titles of all 13 songs on the album, but Doughty shortened it to Circles Super Bon Bon... on his website.[7]

On April 9, 2014, Doughty announced his next album, to be titled Stellar Motel. Like the previous project, it will be crowd-funded.[8]

Solo discography[edit]

A two disc re-release which includes the out-of-print Skittish, the Rockity Roll EP, and five bonus tracks.
Doughty's first full-band album. Longtime friend Dave Matthews heard early demos and signed Doughty to his label. This is Doughty's most critically acclaimed solo album.
Six song EP only on iTunes Music Store. Title track is a cover of the Kenny Rogers hit.
Doughty's most commercially successful solo album to date, until the release of his 2013 Soul Coughing "covers" album (see entry).
Limited edition Live LP sold only at shows. Contains 12 tracks from a 2007 busking performance in the 14th Street – Union Square station in New York City.[9]
An EP, featuring five tracks from the Busking LP, released as a free add-on to Golden Delicious in Borders book stores.
An electro/sampled/sonic-slice-and-dice album put out as an appetizer to the singer/songwriter album, Yes and Also Yes. A departure from Mike's style altogether, this was a commercial and critical failure.[10]
A two disc album compiling the best of his Question Jar tour.
An online subscription album which included 32 previously unreleased songs dispersed weekly.
An album consisting of cover songs originally recorded by various artists such as Cheap Trick and John Denver intermingled with original material from Doughty.
  • Circles, Super Bon Bon, and The Very Best Of Soul Coughing (2013) #65 U.S.
A crowd-funded album of Soul Coughing songs "re-imagined". In other words, as he had initially imagined them in the 1990s before his bandmates manipulated them, to his disliking. As expressed in The Book Of Drugs, he feels animosity toward the Soul Coughing versions. Fans had a mixed reaction to this, the more Doughty-inclined Soul Coughing fans supported the idea (racking up 100% on PledgeMusic, a crowdfunding platform, in a little over a few hours) while other fans stayed loyal to the other three members, preferring the songs as they were originally recorded. The album did better commercially than any of his solo albums ever did, hitting #65 for two weeks. Soul Coughing's most successful album, however, was El Oso, charting at #49.[11]
  • Water and Washington (2013)
A rare bonus album available to participants in his PledgeMusic campaign for Circles,Super Bon Bon, and The Very Best of Soul Coughing. The album, available as a download to pledgers who ordered a copy, consisted of 20 acoustic tracks, including acoustic versions of the Soul Coughing songs on the album, as well as several tracks that were not included on the album.[12]
  • Stellar Motel (2014)
Another album funded by a PledgeMusic campaign. #66 U.S.
  • Live at Ken's House (2014)
Doughty's third official live album. It is a compilation of the best cuts of his October/November US tour in support of Circles, Super Bon Bon, and The Very Best of Soul Coughing. The material is solely live performances of this album. #130 U.S.

Music videos[edit]

  • "Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well"
  • "27 Jennifers"
  • "Fort Hood"
  • "Put It Down"
  • "(You Should Be) Doubly (Gratified)"
  • "(I Keep On) Rising Up"
  • "Na Na Nothing"
  • "Take Me Home, Country Roads"
  • "Sunshine"
  • "Super Bon Bon (Re-Imagined)"
  • "The Idiot Kings (Re-Imagined)"
  • "Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating In The Future"


External links[edit]