Boston Sunday Herald, January 16, 1994

Grunge Singer Not Blue About Solo Release
byGeoffrey Kula

Skeptics might say the 27 year old lead singer of a grunge band has no right to sing the blues, but Mark Lanegan proves otherwise.
Lanegan, lead singer for Screaming Trees, sets aside his rock roots and grows into a blues groove on his new solo album, "Whiskey For The Holy Ghost", due in stores Tuesday.
The ScreamingTrees is the Northwestern quartet that scored hits last year with "Nearly Lost You" and "Dollar Bill" from its "Sweet Oblivion" album. The band spent 1993 on the road touring to support the album and shared the bill on MTV's "Alternative Nations" tour with pop groovemiesters The Spin Doctors and Minneapolis rockers Soul Asylum.
Lanegan says he saw his solo album as, "A chance to do something different."
On "Whiskey", Lanegan collaberated with such alternative rock notables as J Mascis and Mike Johnson of Dinosaur Jr., Dan Peters of Mud Honey, and tad Doyle of TAD. Nonetheless, the album sounds more like the work of Lanegan's blues heroes such as Charlie Patton and Willie Jones than a "Greatest Hits Of Grunge" package.
"You just have a certain idea of something you want, and then you just try to make the music sound like that," the singer said.
And he succeeds. Soulful, grizzly vocals spin tales of loss and lonliness over haunting melodies, producing a pleasantly somber album.
The music may be blue, but Lanegan says he is perfectly content with his job. "I truly think I have the best job in the world," he says. "I get to be creative, I get to's better than the Army."
"Where I come form, there's not a lot of exciting jobs. People basically do their ten years of hard labor or work at McDonald's. I'm glad I can do what I can...I get to make a living, it means more to me than the average job, and it's been my savior...What else would I have done?"
Lanegan has been in Seattle making music with his Screaming Trees bandmates for the past ten years. While content with the progress the Screaming Trees have made, the need to do something different got Lanegan working on "Whiskey" three years ago, taking time out frm his Trees schedule whenever he could to write.
"Regardless of what I do on a record, it's not my life," he said. "Sure, there's parts of me in there...there's all sorts of stuff in there, but songs aren't the ledger I've been keeping on my life the last three years."

"I don't like to bash people over the head with my intention," he said, "I'm just tyring to make something that pleases me."