Shortly after his December 2019 LA shows, Jerry Cantrell entered the studio to begin work on Brighten. The album was produced by Cantrell, Tyler Bates, and co-produced by engineer Paul Figueroa. The cast of players on Brighten is: Jerry Cantrell - Guitar, bass, vocals, keys, Greg Puciato - Background vocals, Duff McKagan - Bass, Gil Sharone - Drums, Abe Laboriel Jr. - Drums, Tyler Bates - Strings, percussion, guitar, Vincent Jones - Piano, keys, & strings, Jordan Lewis - Piano Michael, Rozon - Pedal steel, Lola Bates - Background vocals, Matias Ambrogi-Torres - Strings.
"It was like an old school seventies record where a multitude of musicians played," smiles Cantrell. "So it's not a set band. I got to make music with a bunch of guys I never had before, along with friends like Duff & Tyler & Gil who I've worked with previously. I've always been a fan of bands that were heavy on harmony. Ive been lucky enough to have that relationship with Layne Staley and now William DuVall. Greg and I worked together in a similar fashion and blended nicely. We were creating and changing this thing all the way up until the end. It took way longer than I wanted it to, but it became an even better record.
This record offers cleaner glimpses of what I grew up on, listened to, and am still inspired by today" he states. "I was raised by two country fans, so I think you can hear that energy in there as well. This album has prominent roles for keys, strings, and pedal steel, which I haven't incorporated in such a heavy fashion before."