American indie and alternative singer/songwriter Mike Doughty will perform Sunday, Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St.

Doughty first rose to the public eye as the front man and lead singer for the jazzy/electronic, not-quite-mainstream band Soul Coughing in the mid-1990s. Since leaving Soul Couching, Doughty has developed a strong and flourishing solo career and has since returned to his acoustic roots on his latest recording, “Sad Man, Happy Man.” One of his most stripped-down records to date, “Sad Man, Happy Man” keeps the attention squarely on Doughty’s voice and acoustic guitar, accented by little more than a handful of bass and cello flourishes. At the Strand, Doughty will be accompanied by bassist Andrew “Scrap” Livingston.

After eight years fronting Soul Coughing, Doughty launched his solo career with three albums. He was working on the songs for another when he met fellow musician and Soul Coughing fan Dave Matthews, who signed Doughty to his ATO label and released his next album, “Haughty Melodic,” in 2005. The following album, 2008’s “Golden Delicious” cracked the Billboard 100, Doughty’s first solo release to do so, although it is a bit poppy compared to the cerebral and fairly complicated work his fans were used to. “Sad Man Happy Man” is a deliberate return to form.

Last year Mike Doughty launched the Question Jar show in which Doughty and Livingston field crowd queries and song requests (written on paper and put in a jar) from audience members between songs. The intimate, anything-goes format is a good fit for Doughty and should make for a fun night at the Strand.

Opening for Doughty will be New York City-based up-and-coming indie artist Christina Courtin. The general admission tickets are $15, available in advance by calling 594-0070, visiting and during walk-up window hours.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to