Out today is Mad Season's Sonic Evolution/January 302015/Benaroya, recorded during the Seattle "supergroup's" special reunion show with the Seattle Symphony.
Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready and Barrett Martin remain from the original lineup, with Soundgarden's Chris Cornell stepping in for late frontman Layne Staley of Alice in Chains and Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan subbing for the late John Baker Saunders. The set also features guest appearances by Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament and Alice in Chains drummer Sean Kinney, performing not only Mad Season material but also from the Temple of the Dog tribute project.
Cornell tells us that it was a special show for all concerned, though he downplays rumors about reactivating Mad Season with him singing:
"Well, that's not something we ever really talked about, but I can say that I really enjoyed being on stage with those guys, and it was kind of a shock to be standing there...I was trying to remember the songs and trying to sing them well and sort of do right by the history of it, and once I was on stage and we were doing it, then it kind of hit me, I'm standing here with these guys, all of which I've known for years and years and been friends with but had never been on stage with them like that. It was pretty great. It was pretty moving."
Cornell, meanwhile, is preparing for the September 18 release of his new solo album, Higher Truth, and a tour to support it.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.