Alice In Chains is an absolute staple of the grunge scene that emerged in the Seattle area in the mid-80s. We’re talking bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, but some would even call AIC the best grunge band to ever play the game.
Known for songs like “Rooster,” “Down In A Hole,” “Would?” and more, it’s their 1994 song “Nutshell” that recently has seen a resurgence win the country music world.
Billy Strings brought out the track earlier this year while on stage, meshing it into a killer 15-minute jam session, and while I love a good jam session version, Larry Fleet covering the track scratches the itch of hearing this song with a little more twang.
On the heels of releasing Earned It,Larry Fleet has released in-the-round style acoustic videos showcasing some songs off the album. He threw in this gem of a cover.
“Another cover for y’all this week. All sorts of music has influenced me over the years, so it was fun to put my own spin on Alice in Chains’ ‘Nutshell.'”
Written by Layne Staley, with Mike Inez and Sean Kinney handling the music and arrangement, it was featured on their 1994 Jar of Flies acoustic EP. Inez called it the song that makes him think of Layne the most (he passed away in 2002 due to an accidental overdose):
“That song still gets me choked up whenever I play it. I get a little teary-eyed, and sometimes when we’re doing the arena runs especially, they’ll have some video footage of Layne.
We’re not looking at the audience, we’re looking back at Layne, and it’s pretty cool that there’s still that song for us.”
But back to Larry’s version…
The simple melody of his guitar hits a tinge that makes the composition his own, reminding you that his musical roots lay in country. He ramps up the vocals more than the original, highlighting his silky smooth tone and masterful high notes.
The emotionally charged yet simple verses strike a chord, hitting especially hard as he sings:
“My gift of self is raped My privacy is raked And yet I find, and yet I find Repeating in my head If I can’t be my own I’d feel better dead…”
Simply put, this cover is damn good. Give it a listen for yourself.
Without the original, we can’t enjoy covers, so while you’re here listen to Alice In Chains version.