Chris Cornell: Johnny Cash is a ‘True Musician’


Story by Charles Ken

Soundgarden singer digs playing intimate, unplugged shows

Soundgarden wailer Chris Cornell is taking some time off from the heavy tracks to play small, intimate, acoustic gigs across the country. Playing acoustic, Cornell says, is a completely novel experience for the grunge singer. After all, he got his start in the business playing uber-powerful, plugged-in rock shows throughout Seattle and beyond.

“Going on an acoustic tour is new for me — it’s the opposite of how I started out in music, which was very loud, aggressive, me screaming the whole time,” Cornell, 47, told USA Today. “This tour allowed me perform with little to compete with my lyrics and my voice.” Giving his fans the “living-room experience” was also his way of thanking them. “This tour, this album is really very fan-driven,” he says. “One place I played, the (Sixth & I) synagogue in Washington, D.C., was so beautiful and the fans were so close, I could actually have a direct conversation with them. It was like a big dinner table.”

Cornell went on to say that a real musician can captivate an audience without many bells and whistles. “A true musician, like Johnny Cash, should be able to walk into a room with nothing but an instrument and capture people’s attention for two hours,” he said. “I felt like I was missing that in some way. This tour really opened up a different side to me.”

Yet, playing a variety of venues and show times isn’t a stretch for Cornell. Just look at his career trajectory, from revolutionizing popular music with his grunge rockers Soundgarden to singing melodic lines with super-group Audioslave. “I can go from one extreme to another, from playing at the Sydney Opera House on the Songbook tour to shows with Soundgarden at Voodoo Fest, all in a week,” Cornell explained. “I feel so lucky that my fans allow me to take different approaches to my music, and do them authentically at the same time.” Find a full list of tour dates for Cornell’s Songbook tour, here.


Charles Ken
Posted by Charles Ken | Music, Rock, Rock News

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