It wasn’t just a full house of fans that clapped and whistled when indi- alternative rock singer-songwriter Mike Doughty walked onto the stage at The Linda, it was a real live cult-audience of Doughty fanatics. Over two hundred of them came out!
Just a day shy of New Years Eve, Doughty was comfortable in his own skin and armed with an acoustic guitar alongside his long time accompanist-cellist, Andrew “Scrap” Livingston.
Throughout the concert the relationship between the Doughty and the audience was interactive – mostly between songs, but at times even during them with something akin to a sing-along accompanying his impassioned vocals and frenzied guitar playing.
The 40-year-old Doughty – born in Fort Knox, Kentucky, but a long-time Hudson Valley resident – has come a long way since working as a doorman at famed NYC music nightclub the Knitting Factory. It was around that time in 1992 that he formed his band Soul Coughing. Remember “Super Bon Bon” or “Circles”?
Since going solo in 2000, his best known songs have included “Looking at the World From the Bottom of the Well” and “I Hear the Bells.” He opened for the Dave Matthews Band on several tours, and one of his songs, “(I Keep On) Rising Up,” is featured in the current Jack Black film “Gulliver’s Travels.”
At the Linda, the evening was filled with mostly Doughty originals drawn from a decade’s worth of solo album releases starting out with 2000’s “Skittish” and going on through to last year’s “Sad Man, Happy Man.”
And it didn’t matter which song Doughty belted out. They were all fabulous, and all of them were sung with a burning conviction, ala Joe Jackson, or that down-in-the-throat spiritual depth of Tom Waits.
Opener Patrick McGrath delivered a fine set of originals culled from his recent debut album, “When Black Is Blue.”
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk