I Love My Country Side – The Bottle Rockets

The Bottle Rockets

bottle rocket band

StLouis-FestusMsAlong with peers Uncle Tupelo the Bottle Rockets are considered to be the godfathers of the ’90s alt-country/roots rock revival. The roots of both groups formed in the mid 1980’s in and around St. Louis and southern Illinois. Both groups evolved from two notable local bands of the time; punk band the Primitives and the country rock band Blue Moons which featured Brian Henneman and Mark Ortmann. In the early 1990’s the Primitives reorganized and became Uncle Tupelo; while in 1992 the “original outlaw country rock band, Chicken Truck” which also included Henneman and Ortmann reorganized to become the Bottle Rockets. Formed in Festus, Missouri the original incarnation of the Bottle Rockets included Brian Henneman (guitar/vocals), Mark Ortmann (drums), Tom Parr (guitar/vocals) and Tom Ray (bass guitar). Though not in the group schoolteacher, Scott Taylor, and Tom Parr’s brother, Robert, have also contributed compositions and lyrics.

The quartet cut their self titled first album in Athens, Georgia. Produced by John Keane the album included guest appearances by Uncle Tupelo’s Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar (Brian Henneman played on the Uncle Tupelo release March 16-20, 1992, and in the country cover band Coffee Creek with Farrar and Tweedy). Not content to be known as a band that simply plays

“highway-driving, bar-haunting, trailer-parking, lovesick scruffy T-shirt roots-rock”

songs like “Wave That Flag,” which condemn rebel hostility, and “Kerosene,” with its tale of a burned-out trailer begin to define the group’s music as something more…

“social commentary set to rock music in the Bottle Rockets’ original hybrid Woody Guthrie meets Neil Young meets The Replacements American roots music sound.”

Over the course of their career songs like “Welfare Music”, “Zoysia”, “Baggage Claim”, “Blind”, “Align Yourself”, “Middle Man”, “Rich Man in the Graveyard”, and “The Kid Next Door” will continue to

“succinctly and endearingly encapsulate the common experiences of the everyman.”

Produced in New York by Eric Ambel (Dictators, Del Lords) 1994’s The Brooklyn Side

“is a sharper, harder, more cosmopolitan collection that brings the band’s strengths into cohesive focus with infinitely better songs.”

With hints of Neil Young on “Sunday Sports,” Merle Haggard on “Idiot’s Revenge,” Jimi Hendrix on “Stuck in a Rut” and Hank Williams on “Queen of the World” The Brooklyn Side manages to touch all the musical bases. Released as a single, “Radar Gun,” was a hit on rock radio and the songs, “$1,000 Car” and “I’ll Be Comin’ Around”, also became popular. The band toured extensively in support of the record and made an appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

With Eric Ambel once again producing, 1997’s 24 Hours a Day was recorded in John Mellencamp’s hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. With it’s tales of broken down vans, single moms and failed fathers

24 Hours a Day … delivers on the promise of The Brooklyn Side with it’s examination of blue-collar life in the Midwest.

Outtakes from the 24 Hours a Day sessions were released by Doolittle Records (now New West Records) as the 8 track mini-album Leftovers in 1998. Although he had played on all the tracks bassist Tom V Ray left before the release of Leftovers.

The band added bassist Robert Kearns (Cry of Love) for 1999’s Brand New Day. Released on Doolittle Records it’s songs about trucks and the “desperation one can feel around the holidays” the band continued to work familiar territory.

The group recorded 2002’s Songs of Sahm in a mere 6 days so they would have new material to tour behind, but shortly after the album’s release Tom Parr left the group: forcing them to tour as a trio.

Along with Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes the group released 2003’s Blue Sky on Sanctuary Records. Blue Sky continues to mine “the same roots-rock vein” like their previous efforts. Shortly after the album’s completion St. Louis, Missouri multi-instrumentalist John Horton joined the band.

2005’s Zoysia was recorded in Memphis’ Ardent Studios with producer Jeff Powell. Prior to the band entering the studio singer-bassist Robert Kearns left the group and was replaced by Keith Voegele, but

“the switch didn’t alter the basic Bottle Rockets sound — crunchy Neil Young-inspired riffs with sterling lead guitar work from Henneman still dominate…”

and with it’s

“themes of maturity, generosity of spirit, neighborliness, … personal roots and modern society, defiant sobriety, pride of place, patriotism”

Zoysia received rave reviews

“including a spot on novelist/audiophile Stephen King’s Best Records of 2006 list in Entertainment Weekly magazine.”

July 2008 saw the group once again working with producer Eric “Roscoe” Ambel at his Cowboy Technical Services Recording Studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York on a new album to be released sometime this year.


Singles, EPs and Full-length

The Bottle Rockets (CD) (East Side Digital) 1992
I’ll Be Comin Around (Single) (1994)
The Brooklyn Side (CD) (East Side Digital) 1995
Strings (CD) (East Side Digital) 1995
24 Hours a Day (CD single) (Atlantic) 1997
24 Hours a Day (Atlantic) 1997
Songs of Sahm (CD) (Bloodshot) (2002)
Man Of Constant Anxiety (CD Single) (Sanctuary Records) 2003
Blue Sky (CD) (Sanctuary Records) 2003
Brand New Year (Doolittle Records, LLC) (1999, 2004)
Leftovers (CD) (New West Records) 1998, 2004
Zoysia (Evangeline Recorded Works) (2006)
Live In Heilbronn, Germany July 17, 2005 (2xCD) (Blue Rose) 2006
Same (CD) (East Side Digital)

Tracks Appear On:

“Every Kinda Everything” For A Life Of Sin: A Compilation Of Insurgent Chicago Country (CD) (Bloodshot) 1994
Fmqb Modern Rock Sample V04 #06 – December 1995 (WBRU) 1995
“Get Down” Hell-Bent: Insurgent Country, Volume 2 (CD) (Bloodshot) 1995
“I’ll Be Comin’ Around” Promo Only: Mainstream Radio, April 1996
“Get Down River” East Side Story Vol. 1 (CD) (East Side Digital) 1996
“Welfare Music” Rock Live From Mountain Stage (CD) (Blue Plate) 1996
“Truck Drivin’ Man (Give It All I Can)” Rig Rock Deluxe: A Musical Salute To The American Truck Driver (CD) (Upstart) 1996
“Gravity Fails” Grooves Vol. 11 (Time Life Music, Sony Music Special Products) 1996
“I’ll Be Comin'” J. Spew (Atlantic Records) 1996
“Rocket in My Pocket “ Rock And Roll Doctor: A Tribute To Lowell George (CD) (CMC International) 1998
“Get Down, River” Mississippi: River Of Song – A Musical Journey Down The Mississippi (2 x CD) ( Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) 1998
Crowd Around the Mic, Volume 2, 1998 [LIVE]
“Every Kinda Everything” Bama Jams Country (Tempo Records) 1999
“Something Found” Blue Rose Collection, Volume 7 (2xCD) (Blue Rose) 2000
“Mendocino” Hit the Hay Volume 6 (2xCD) (Sound Asleep Records) 2003
“1000 Dollar Car” Car Talk: Born Not to Run: More Disrespectful Car Songs (Highbridge Audio) 2004
“Let’s Stop Kicking Our Hearts Around” Hard-Headed Woman: A Celebration Of Wanda Jackson (CD) (Bloodshot) (2004)
“A Living Hell” For a Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records (2xCD) (Bloodshot Records) 2005
“Nancy Sinatra”, “Stuck in a Rut” Warren Haynes Presents: The Benefit Concert Vol. 2 (2 x CD) (Evil Teen) 2007
“Perfect Far Away” Rocktober

Bottle Rockets

Playing Time: 35 minutes 15 seconds

bottle rockets-self titled first album

1. Early In The Morning (1:42)
2. Gas Girl (1:54)
3. Trailer Mama (2:39)
4. Wave That Flag (2:25)
5. Kerosene (3:13)
6. Every Kinda Everything (2:31)
7. Got What I Wanted (3:12)
8. Manhattan Countryside (2:16)
9. Rural Route (3:07)
10. Bud Nanney Theme (2:33)
11.The Very Last Time (4:41)
12. Hey Moon (2:06)
13. Lonely Cowboy (2:56)

Buy The Bottle Rockets from East Side Digital

The Brooklyn Side

Playing Time: 52 minutes 3 seconds

bottle rockets-the brooklyn side

1. Welfare Music (3:18)
2. Gravity Fails (3:22)
3. I’ll Be Comin’ Around (2:43)
4. Radar Gun (3:16)
5. Sunday Sports (4:58)
6. Pot Of Gold (3:29)
7. 1000 Car (4:46)
8. Idiot’s Revenge (3:46)
9. Young Lovers In Town (3:33)
10. Take Me To The Bank (2:38)
11. What More Can I Do? (4:24)
12. Stuck In A Rut (4:45)
13. I Wanna Come Home (3:12)
14. Queen Of The World (3:53)

Buy The Brooklyn Side from Amazon.com

Songs of Sahm

Playing Time: 47 minutes 11 seconds

bottle rockets-songs of sahm

1. Floatway (3:07)
2. Mendocino (3:09)
3. Be Real (2:33)
4. At the Crossroads (5:16)
5. She´s About A Mover (3:49)
6. Lawd. I´m Just a Country Boy in this Great Big Freaky City (3:07)
7. Nitty Gritty (3:10)
8. Song of Everything (3:45)
9. Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day (3:14)
10. Stoned Faces Don´t Lie (4:58)
11. You Can´t Hide a Redneck (Under That Hippy Hair) (4:04)
12. I Don´t Want to go Home (3:09)
13. I´m Not That Kat Anymore (3:50)

Buy Songs of Sahm from Amazon.com

Buy Songs of Sahm from the Undertow Music Collective

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7 responses to “I Love My Country Side – The Bottle Rockets

  1. Pingback: Addendum « Old Fart at Play

  2. Sera que alguem teria a letra da musica Lonely Cowboy? Infelizmente ja fucei bastante a internet e não encontrei. Obrigado…

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