Mike Doughty reinterprets Camille, Thin Lizzy, Low, Josh Wink, Red House Painters, Cheap Trick, The Stone Roses, Randy Newman and more.
On February 25th 2013 Mike Doughty releases his inventive and enjoyable covers album 'The Flip is Another Honey' on Snack Bar/Hornblow Recordings. It features Mike's take on songs by Frank Loesser, John Denver, 15 60 75 the Numbers Band, Steven Sondheim and more. The title, taken from a 1956 Variety review of a Jerry Lee Lewis single, means 'the b-side is also fantastic.'
Some songs featured are more recognizable than others' to their original incarnation. They're all easily identifiable as Doughty, yet also represent a subtle shift in style and instrumental palate from his last two acclaimed albums, 'Sad Man Happy Man', and 'Yes and Also Yes'.
'Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat' is a straightforward version of the song from the musical Guys and Dolls and equally true to the original is 'Take Me Home, Country Roads' by John Denver, performed alongside guest vocalist Rosanne Cash.
''Country Roads' was my first favourite song,' explains Mike. 'When I was three, I listened to John Denver's greatest hits, on one of those big shoebox cassette players you used to see in school libraries. I lay in the back of a massive, green, 1970s Oldsmobile, pressing the shoddy, mono speaker up to my ear.'
'Sunshine' finds Doughty rapping around samples of Denver's voice which fly back and forth over a pleasingly fuzzy bass, interwoven with delicate acoustic guitar, making for a reassuringly warm, heady experience.
'Reach Out' - an obscure Cheap Trick tune from the soundtrack to the early 80s film 'Heavy Metal' segues into the 'Tweakin' Acid Funk' mix of Josh Wink's huge breakbeat anthem 'Higher State of Consciousness'.
Fender Rhodes and a driving motorik beat fuel the cover-of-a cover 'Jimmy Bell', which is based on 15 60 75 the Numbers Band's interpretation of Cat Iron's original. This choice goes some way to revealing Mike's influences and explaining how he reached his beat-heavy blues sound. Every other track included is equally revealing and illuminating, in a different way.
Doughty has long included choice covers in his repertoire, putting his mark on songs by Mary J. Blige, Kenny Rogers, Neutral Milk Hotel and Daniel Johnston in the studio, and Guns 'N' Roses and The Magnetic Fields in concert.
'The Flip Is Another Honey' was produced and mixed by Kevin Salem (Emmylou Harris, Mercury Rev). Doughty played, or programmed every sound on the album, with the exception of three tracks; 'Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat' by Frank Loesser, Sondheim's 'Send In the Clowns' and Newman's 'God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)', which were performed live in the studio with Doughty's longtime collaborators 'Cashmere' Dan Chen (keyboards) and cellist Andrew 'Scrap' Livingston (cello).
1. Sunshine (samples John Denver's 'Sunshine On My Shoulders')
2. A Fanfare (by Mike Doughty)
3. Jimmy Bell (originally by Cat Iron, based on a version by 15 60 75 the Numbers Band)
4. Take Me Home, Country Roads (feat. Rosanne Cash; originally by John Denver)
5. Southern Girls (originally by Cheap Trick)
6. Tightrope (based around a chorus by The Stone Roses)
7. Send in the Clowns (originally from the musical 'Company' by Stephen Sondheim)
8. Running Back (originally by Thin Lizzy)
9. Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat (originally from 'Guys and Dolls' by Frank Loesser)
10. Boy + Angel (originally by Doveman)
11. Reach Out (originally by Cheap Trick/Josh Wink)
12. Ta Douleur (originally by Camille)
13. God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind) (originally by Randy Newman)
14. Mistress (originally by Red House Painters)
15. Words (originally by Low)