12 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Originally a limited-edition live LP sold only at shows, Busking contains 12 performances said to have been recorded while Mike Doughty busked at New York City's 14th Street-Union Square subway station. The sound quality is very good; Doughty’s voice is clear, and his guitar playing benefits from the natural reverb. Audience members occasionally get unruly, but that’s part of the fun. Casual or new fans will likely prefer to hear the fully produced studio versions largely found on Haughty Melodic (seven out of 12 songs). But for those who enjoy the magic of Doughty’s vocal phrasings, there’s plenty to savor on inspired performances of “Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well,” “Thank You, Lord, for Sending Me the F Train," and “White Lexus,” a song that Doughty learned from a radio promotion man is about death. “Sunken-Eyed Girl” misses a bit of its powerful rhythmic propulsion, but there’s a greater NYC loneliness to this version that mirrors the sentiments of the lyrics. Doughty’s tribute to his friend and contemporary Jeff Buckley, “Grey Ghost,” is frightening.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Originally a limited-edition live LP sold only at shows, Busking contains 12 performances said to have been recorded while Mike Doughty busked at New York City's 14th Street-Union Square subway station. The sound quality is very good; Doughty’s voice is clear, and his guitar playing benefits from the natural reverb. Audience members occasionally get unruly, but that’s part of the fun. Casual or new fans will likely prefer to hear the fully produced studio versions largely found on Haughty Melodic (seven out of 12 songs). But for those who enjoy the magic of Doughty’s vocal phrasings, there’s plenty to savor on inspired performances of “Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well,” “Thank You, Lord, for Sending Me the F Train," and “White Lexus,” a song that Doughty learned from a radio promotion man is about death. “Sunken-Eyed Girl” misses a bit of its powerful rhythmic propulsion, but there’s a greater NYC loneliness to this version that mirrors the sentiments of the lyrics. Doughty’s tribute to his friend and contemporary Jeff Buckley, “Grey Ghost,” is frightening.

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