Roots renegades Cody Jinks and Paul Cauthen delivered a stripped-down and raw rendition of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” at Nashville’s Basement East on Saturday night as part of a special tribute show dubbed Sing Me Back Home: A Celebration of Artists Lost in 2017.
Backed only by a lonely piano, the drawling Texas favorites tipped a weathered cowboy hat to the late Chris Cornell, bringing his dreary end-of-days-rocker even deeper into the shadows than the original version and recalling Johnny Cash’s epic retelling of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” along the way.
The annual show – presented by Wildwood Revival with proceeds helping to support the fight against human trafficking – was billed as a tribute to fallen heroes like Tom Petty, Chuck Berry, Glen Campbell and Gregg Allman, and this year featured memorable performances from Hayes Carll, Langhorne Slim, JP Harris, Becca Mancari and Bobby Bare Jr., among others. Country singer Cam provided one of the evening’s surprise highlights: a ferocious take on the Cranberries’ 1994 hit “Zombie” in honor of Dolores O’Riordan, who died January 15th. Backed by Leroy Powell on guitar, Cam howled the song’s iconic chorus.
The concert culminated in an ensemble sing-along of Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”
“Black Hole Sun” was first released in 1994 and peaked at Number One on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock chart. Cornell died May 18th, 2017, at the age of 52.