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Chris Cornell gets a dark tribute from North Texas’ Cody Jinks

Posted 3:15pm on Friday, May. 19, 2017

Long before he was a country singer, Denton’s Cody Jinks — originally from Haltom City — was a vocalist for a Fort Worth metal band called Unchecked Aggression. Jinks has been a rising star on the country scene in the past few years, but he never forgets his rock background — his cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” belongs in a best-covers-ever compilation.

But he may have outdone himself with his latest cover, posted Thursday on YouTube: A cover of Audioslave’s “I am the Highway” in honor of Chris Cornell, the Audioslave/Soundgarden singer who died Thursday morning at age 52.

The video is shot in one take, in black and white, so shadowy that you can’t see Jinks’ face, befitting the gloomy mood of the cover. Jinks doesn’t try to match Cornell’s power and lends a little alt-country accent to the song.

The video caught the attention of Rolling Stone (which is where we found out about it, via the magazine’s Facebook page) and other outlets. On YouTube, the video is accompanied by a simple description: “We lost a great one today. #ChrisCornell.” Other tributes have been pouring in, whether in the form of covers or social-media posts.

Then, on Friday, Jinks did it again, this time with the help of Texas singer-songwriter Paul Cauthen on an austere acoustic cover of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun.” The video, shot Thursday and posted Friday, is even more moving than the Audioslave cover.

Cornell’s death was ruled a suicide, but his wife, Vicky, issued a statement Friday morning in which she speculated whether his suicide was the result of taking too much of his anxiety medication.

Soundgarden was scheduled to perform next week at the Bomb Factory in Dallas. The Dallas Observer’s Eric Grubbs spoke with fans of the influential band and confirmed that the show, which was to feature openers Dillinger Escape Plan, has been canceled.

Jinks performs Saturday night in Amarillo; his next DFW date is Aug. 4 at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie — with Kris Kristofferson listed as a special guest. Cauthen is scheduled to perform June 2 as part of Do 214 Presents Skip Day (aka Young Professionals Skip Day) at the Rustic in Dallas.

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