Michael Ross Doughty (// DOH-tee; born June 10, 1970) is an American singer-songwriter and author. He founded the band Soul Coughing in 1992, and as of The Heart Watches While the Brain Burns (2016), has released 18 studio albums, live albums, and EPs, all since 2000.
Mike Doughty at the City Winery NYC November 24, 2012
|Birth name||Michael Ross Doughty|
|Also known as||M. Doughty|
|Born||June 10, 1970|
Fort Knox, Kentucky
|Genres||Alternative rock, alternative hip hop, downtempo, trip hop, breakbeat|
|Labels||ATO, MapleMusic Recordings (Canada), Megaforce Records|
|Associated acts||Soul Coughing, The Panderers|
The son of an army officer—he grew up on army bases throughout the United States, including Fort Knox, Fort Hood, and Fort Leavenworth, and 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 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".
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.
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. During his three-year tour, Doughty sold 20,000 copies of Skittish and gradually developed a following independent of Soul Coughing. Doughty collaborated with BT on "Never Gonna Come Back Down"' providing lyrics and vocals. "Never Gonna Come Back Down" was contained on BT's album "Movements in Still Life" and released in 1999.
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 singles "Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well" and "I Hear the Bells" were featured on episodes of Grey's Anatomy and Veronica Mars, respectively, and Doughty appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, marking a return to the musical mainstream. He has since released a number of follow-up albums. Some of Doughty's more recent albums, including Circles, Super Bon Bon and The Very Best of Soul Coughing, Live at Ken’s, and Stellar Motel, have used crowdfunding to finance their creation. He has also used Patreon to release a song every week for those paying $5 a month.
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.
In 2019, Doughty mounted a U.S. tour in honor of the 25th anniversary of Ruby Vroom in which he played the album in its entirety.
|2000||Skittish||−||self-released||Recorded July 5, 1996|
|2002||Smofe + Smang: Live in Minneapolis||−||self-released||Live album recorded at the Woman's Club Theater in Minneapolis on February 27, 2002. Release in a limited edition of 2500.|
|2004||Skittish / Rockity Roll||−||ATO Records, Snack Bar||Two disc re-release|
|2005||Haughty Melodic||175||ATO Records||Doughty's first full-band album. Longtime friend Dave Matthews heard early demos and signed Doughty to his label.|
|2005||The Gambler||−||ATO Records||EP with several live songs as well as covers, including the titular Kenny Rogers hit. Released only on the iTunes Music Store.|
|2008||Golden Delicious||87||ATO Records|
|2008||Busking||−||ATO Records||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.|
|2008||Busking EP||−||ATO Records||An EP, featuring five tracks from the Busking LP, released as a free add-on to Golden Delicious in Borders book stores.|
|2009||Sad Man Happy Man||138||ATO Records|
|2011||Dubious Luxury||−||−||An electro/sampled/sonic-slice-and-dice album put out as an appetizer to the singer/songwriter album, Yes and Also Yes.|
|2011||Yes and Also Yes||177||Snack Bar|
|2012||The Question Jar Show||−||Snack Bar||A two disc album compiling the best recordings of his Question Jar tour.|
|2012||The Lo-Fi Lodge||−||Snack Bar||A subscription-based album consisting of acoustic versions of previously released songs as well as demos, outtakes, alternate takes and other rarities. 32 tracks in total, released once a week beginning in the spring of 2012.|
|2012||The Flip Is Another Honey||−||Snack Bar||An album consisting of cover songs originally recorded by various artists such as Cheap Trick and John Denver intermingled with original material from Doughty.|
|2013||Circles, Super Bon Bon, and The Very Best of Soul Coughing||65||MRI||A crowd-funded album of Soul Coughing songs rerecorded as Doughty originally intended them prior to being altered for recording by Soul Coughing. 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).|
|2013||Water and Washington||−||self−released||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.|
|2014||Live at Ken's House||130||MRI||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.|
|2015||Stellar Motel||66||Snack Bar||PledgeMusic|
|2016||The Heart Watches While the Brain Burns||-||Snack Bar|
- "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"
- "Super Bon Bon (Re-Imagined)"
- "The Idiot Kings (Re-Imagined)"
- "Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating In The Future"
- "Oh My God Yeah Fuck It"
- "I Can't Believe I Found You in That Town"
- "Sad Girl Walking in the Rain"
- ""Wait! You'll Find a Better Way"
- BMI Repertoire Archived October 19, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
- "Mike Doughty: The Making of the Small Rock, Aired on NPR May 4, 2005". Npr.org. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- Mike at (July 20, 2007). "Super Special Questions Blog: Sekou Sundiata, 1948–2007". Mikedoughty.com. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- "Robitussin for the soul – Music Feature – Music – September 7, 2006 – Sacramento News & Review". Newsreview.com. September 7, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- "Get a New Song Every Week on Patreon". Mike Doughty.
- Doughty, Mike (January 28, 2012). The Book of Drugs. Boston, MA: Da Capo Press. p. 252. ISBN 978-0-306-81877-6.
- "Mike Doughty's "Revelation: A Rock Opera"". WNYC New York Public Radio. Public Radio International and WNYC. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
-  Archived May 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Alternate names via http://www.scug.net/band/vital-stats/