Back in the early ’90s, it was assumed that grunge groups and LA hard rock bands were sworn enemies, but the passing of time has put that phoney war firmly to bed. Remember that night in 2018 when Dave Grohl invited Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan onstage with Foo Fighters to play Gn’R classic It’s So Easy? Or the time Grohl loaned out his ‘throne’ to Axl when Guns’ vocalist broke his foot? More recently, you might perhaps have heard Chris Cornell’s tender version of Gn’R’s Patience. Whatever, you get the idea, the barriers are down.
The latest crossover between the genres comes in the form of a newly-released duet between Duff McKagan and Alice In Chains’ guitarist Jerry Cantrell. The two musicians first met back in 1989, when the Seattle band played a gig in Los Angeles, and McKagan subsequently accepted an invite from Cantrell to play rhythm guitar onstage with AIC during their 2006 comeback tour. Now they’ve teamed up again to wish former US President Jimmy Carter a happy 96th birthday, serenading the veteran politician with an acoustic cover of A Satisfied Mind, a song originally written by Joe ‘Red’ Hayes and Jack Rhodes, and later covered by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant and Willie Nelson, among others.
The pair recorded the song to highlight the former President’s contributions “to help create a sustainable future for mankind,” including putting solar panels on the roof of the White House and supporting arts programmes.
We’d like to see more from these two: Hell, get Axl and Sean Kinney involved too if needs be. Guns N’ Chains, we’re here for it.
In July, GN’R guitarist Slash revealed that he’d been jamming with McKagan and Axl Rose during lockdown to write new Guns N’ Roses material.
The guitarist was speaking with Sweetwater during GearFest 2020 when he was asked how he’s been dealing with life in quarantine.
Slash replies: “I've been back and forth between my studio in the house and doing a lot of writing and recording on my own.
“I’ve been jamming with Duff McKagan and I've been jamming with Axl Rose, and I've been doing stuff like that, so we've been getting some work done that way.”