Alice in Chains' guitarist/singer/songwriter Jerry Cantrell will be bringing his solo Brighten Tour to House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay on May 7th.
As one of the godfathers of the Seattle "Grunge" scene, Cantrell has been writing some of the genre's biggest hits for the last 30 years. His newest solo album, Brighten, shows that Jerry is not all doom and gloom. Sometimes bluesy, sometimes folksy, and a hint of funky- his latest solo record shows the depth that he has in his playing and in his vocals.
No stranger to solo work, Jerry released his first solo record, Boggy Depot, way back in 1998, While Alice in Chains was in its deathrows. He followed it up with 2002's Degradation Trip, at which time AIC had finally been put to rest, following the death of lead singer Layne Staley earlier that year. However, Degradation Trip and the following tour behind it led Cantrell to cross paths with singer William DuVall, who would become AIC's newest singer in 2007, a role that remains his to this day.
Unlike most guitarist's solo ventures, Cantrell's solo works are not a guitar shredding wank fest. The songs are always the focus, and Cantrell's nuanced approach to harmony and melodies are always front and center.
Boggy Depot's "My Song" and "Jesus Hands", along with Degradation Trip's "Anger Rising" and the lead single "Atone" from Brighten all show a musician who has mastered his craft. Moving easily between crooning and screaming, between soft arpeggios and thunderous powerchords, Cantrell's songs are composites of a man who has seen too much, yet believes he hasn't seen it all. He layers his vocals; whether alone or harmonizing with another singer, to build tension and release at powerful choruses that have been his watermark for decades.
Jerry Cantrell's live shows usually consist of equal parts his solo works and Alice in Chains classics. Showing everyone that he is a first class frontman in his own right, but he also shares the spotlight with his backing vocalists; on this tour former Diller Escape Plan's Greg Puciato, allowing them time to shine while Cantrell focuses on his masterful guitar playing. Whether he's laying down his bottom heavy riffs through his stack of Friedman amps, or bringing the volume down with his acoustic songs, Cantrell never overplays. The songs get just enough of what is needed to make them great, and a note is never wasted.
Those who may not be the biggest Alice in Chains fans may find themselves surprised at Jerry's solo works. Showing his roots are based more in Country and Blues than heavy metal at times, he brings a variety of well crafted songs to the table, in which anyone can find something to their liking.
For tour dates, merch, and more, check out Jerry Cantrell's official website.
Jerry Cantrell's BRIGHTEN on Spotify
Check out our previous Alice in Chains coverage below:
PHOTO CREDIT: All photos for promotional use ONLY ©original artists/Jerry Cantrell