first appeared in the Seattle Rocket, November 1998


by Richy Boyer

Ah, Mark Lanegan (sigh). The man's got a voice that makes me want to don a beret and sunglasses, curl up in the dark corner of a smoky bar, chainsmoke Lucky Strikes and cry into glass after glass of cheap red wine. His first two solo Sub Pop LPs, The Winding Sheet and Whiskey for the Holy Ghost, are masterpieces of lonely blues and whiskey-cured laments. His latest, Scraps at Midnight, continues in the same pared-down tradition. Legendary bluesman Robert Johnson may have sold his soul to the devil, but Lanegan gives his to you with every woeful tale he spins. A solo Lanegan show is a very rare pleasure, made all the more bittersweet by openers Mike Johnson and Pete Krebs' Gossamer Wings. If you catch one show the rest of this year, make it this one -- tears of the moment are far better than tears of regret. Mark Lanegan lulls the Showbox in Seattle 11/19 and Berbati's Pan in Portland 11/20. Amen.