Watch Nancy Wilson, Jerry Cantrell and Sammy Hagar perform Alice In Chains' Brother and more in 10-minute jam session

Sammy Hagar, Nancy Wilson and Jerry Cantrell
(Image credit: AXS TV/YouTube)

Back in 2016, Nancy Wilson and Jerry Cantrell dusted off their acoustic guitars and rendezvoused with Sammy Hagar for an episode of The Red Rocker's Rock & Roll Road Trip series, which included an intimate jam session.

The stripped-back event was hosted by AXS TV, which has now released a 10-minute, pro-shot snippet that sees the newly formed three-piece reel off renditions of Alice In Chains’ Brother, as well as an at-the-time unheard track written by Wilson.

On the meaning of Brother – which was originally released as part of Alice In Chains’ 1992 acoustic EP Sap – Cantrell tells Hagar, who asked what the song’s about, “Well, it’s in the title. I wrote it about my brother.

“My parents split [when] we were pretty young, and there was a time when me and my brother weren’t getting along too well,” he explained. “And my mom was having a hard time raising us, too. My brother moved in with my dad in Oklahoma, so I didn’t see him for quite a long time. We were separated for a while.”

Wielding his Guild D-55E, Cantrell assumes lead vocal and solo duties, while the guitar pick-less, Takamine-toting Wilson and Guild F-55E-playing Hagar are on hand to lend some serene supporting strums.

Following the performance, Nancy Wilson is now the second Heart member and Wilson sibling to have featured on Brother, after her older sister Ann Wilson sung backing vocals on the original ‘92 recording.

Brother was promptly followed by a previously unreleased track composed by Nancy Wilson – which, by her own admission, was “never finished” at the time of the jam – who had written it about the late Alice In Chains vocalist, Layne Staley.

The cut – now titled The Dragon – has since been reworked and can be found on Wilson’s most recent album, You And Me, though at the time of AXS TV’s jam it was still very much a work in progress.

Wilson once again relies on her pick-less strumming style – which sees her right hand hover unusually high around the 12th fret area – with the quasi-improvised track receiving some subtle, percussive-esque backing from Cantrell.

The lack of a lyrical structure proves to be no problem for Hagar, however, who throws caution to the wind and subjects the emotive track to an abundance of off-the-cuff, classic-rock vocal hooks.

Fancy watching the entire 20-minute episode? You can find the jam session in its entirety at AXSTV.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.