Mr. Xcitement himself, Mike Doughty paid a visit to the WFPK studio this week while touring behind the 25th anniversary of Soul Coughing’s debut album, “Ruby Vroom.”
“You can’t deny people their catharsis,” he said of returning to the music he recorded in 1994. “I feel reasonably confident that that material has traction in the universe, so I feel a little more comfortable coming back to it… I paid some attention to the finer points of the album in a way that I don’t usually. Usually I will show the band the songs and sort of insist that they not listen to the original recordings… This definitely, there was more attention paid to some of the nuts and bolts, but within the context of the show, inside the songs, there’s improvisation, we mess around with stuff. It’s a very live program.”
When WFPK host Mel Fisher asked him if he viewed this as an opportunity to make the songs the way he originally wanted, Doughty shrugged off the idea.
“Oh I don’t think I’m really concerned about that. I mean, who knows what I thought 25 years ago? I kind of learned the trade from jazz musicians so the going philosophy was always to approach any composition as kind of an abstract idea to perform within as opposed to trying to contain it and make it obey whatever structures you’re trying to impose upon it.”
Outside of the Ruby Vroom 25th anniversary tour, Mike Doughty treated WFPK audiences to an extra jazzy interpretation of two Soul Coughing classics which he performed alongside bassist Andrew “Scrap” Livingston in our studio.