Personnel: Mark Lanegan, Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar); Mike Johnson (acoustic & electric guitar); Jack Endino (guitar, bass); Justin Williams (violin); Steve Fisk (piano, organ); Chris Novoselic (bass); Mark Pickerel (drums).
Producers: Jack Endino, Mike Johnson, Mark Lanegan.
Recorded at Reciprocal Recording, Seattle, Washington in December, 1989.
Personnel: Mark Lanegan (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar); Mike Johnson (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Kurt Cobain (electric guitar, background vocals); Jack Endino (electric guitar); Justin Williams (violin); Steve Fisk (piano, organ); Mark Pickerel (drums).
Shortly before the early-1990s grunge boom hit, Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan was already blazing his own path with his solo debut, THE WINDING SHEET. Marking a considerable departure from the Trees' feedback-drenched neo-psychedelia, this spare collection of acoustic-leaning songs allows Lanegan to wander into darker, more unsettling territory, as revealed on the thrillingly bleak "Mockingbirds" and the haunting title track. Not only do these subdued songs, co-written with guitarist Mike Johnson, allow Lanegan's deep, husky voice to hang in the air longer, they share a shadowy, nearly macabre sensibility with other revered artists such as Nick Cave and Tom Waits, giving the singer added appeal and mystique beyond the standard rock-frontman persona.
THE WINDING SHEET is also notable for featuring the backing vocals of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain on the sinister "Down in the Dark" and a cover of Leadbelly's desperate "Where Did You Sleep Last Night," the latter a track that Nirvana would perform on its UNPLUGGED IN NEW YORK album. An underrated classic of the Pacific Northwest scene, this record established Lanegan as an intriguing and unpredictable artist in his own right, a reputation that he would make the most of in subsequent years.