Eric Church turned a lot of heads with the stomping metalhead nods he threw into his country music on his breakout album The Outsiders. So, it’s no big surprise that he’d be a fan of Chris Cornell. Cornell’s band Soundgarden had the strongest connection to that meaty riff-loving , occult-studying genre out of all the grunge-era acts. And Church showed his appreciation of the late howler with a cover of that band’s Badmotorfinger track “Rusty Cage.”
Well, technically, Church’s cover is a take on another country artists cover of the same track. As he explains in the fan-shot video, the version he played is the one that Johnny Cash released on American II: Unchained. In the words of a another alt-rock icon that the Man in Black famously covered, it’s a copy of a copy of a… Still, Church does the song justice in front of an appreciative Washington, DC crowd. Check it out up top. And take a listen to both “original” versions below.
First up, Johnny Cash:
Then, the actual Soundgarden song: