THE BOTTLE ROCKETS
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
The Bottle Rockets is an alt-country music group formed in 1992 in Festus, Missouri. The founding members were Brian Henneman (guitar, vocals), Mark Ortmann (drums), Tom Parr (1992-2002, guitar, vocals) and Tom Ray (1992-1997, bass guitar). Current members include John Horton (joined 2003, guitar) and Keith Voegele (joined 2005, bass, vocals). Most members of the group have contributed compositions to their repertoire, as have Robert Parr (Tom’s brother) and schoolteacher Scott Taylor (who writes lyrics for some of Henneman’s tunes). The Bottle Rockets formed in 1992 and released "Bottle Rockets." Bottle Rockets released their second album, The Brooklyn Side, on East Side Digital, in 1994. They were then signed by Atlantic Records, who re-released The Brooklyn Side in 1995. The situation with Atlantic Records turned out to be less than ideal, with Atlantic postponing the release of their next record, 24 Hours A Day, until late 1997. Atlantic didn’t promote the records at all which means they didn’t sell, and Atlantic dropped them early in 1998. They then signed with Doolittle records, which has since developed into New West Records. Doolittle released an EP of outtakes from 24 Hours A Day called Leftovers in 1998. About this time, Tom Ray was replaced on by bass by Robert Kearns. The Bottle Rockets’ fourth full length record, Brand New Year, was released on Doolittle in 1999. The band again had problem with record label, and did not record anything else until Songs of Sahm, a collection of songs by Doug Sahm, which came out on Bloodshot Records in early 2002. Shortly after finishing this record, Parr left the band. The band toured as three-piece for a while, before adding multi-instrumentalist John Horton to the band. The Bottle Rocket’s fifth full length record Blue Sky was released in 2003 on the Sanctuary label. Kearns amicably split with the band in the spring of 2005 to play with new-country artist Chris Cagle. Keith Voegele was named as the new bassist. Voegele is from St Louis and played in bands around the city including the Phonocaptors. The Bottle Rockets’ first live album "Live in Heilbronn, Germany" was released in February 2006. The double-disc set was recorded on July 17th 2005 at the Burgerhaus, Heilbronn-Bockingen, Germany. It was released in Europe on CD and vinyl by Blue Rose Records. Bloodshot Records released the band’s next album, Zoysia, recorded in Ardent Studios in Memphis with legendary producer Jeff Powell, in June 2006. Listen at Last.fm
Rock / Americana / Soul
THE BOTTLE ROCKETS remain one of the most steel-solid bands amongst the greatest of rural-rock trailblazers. The St. Louis, Missouri outfit long regarded and adored as THE workingman's rock band have hit a creative high water mark with a new homecoming record that is at once their most spirited and finely honed.
Zoysia is the latest sample of the Bottle Rockets' tenaciousness, their eight album and second release on Bloodshot Records. Produced by Jeff Powell at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis and captured largely in two or three takes in a city with its own kind of groove. Coming out on the heals of a litany of knee-jerking changes measuring 4-years deep, this album finds the band (Brian Henneman — guitar/ vocals, Mark Ortmann — drums, John Horton — guitar, and newest and final member, Keith Voegele — bass/vocals) the proudest they've ever been of any other recorded works.
The Bottle Rockets channel some serious cascading Crazy Horse squall, they nail the scruffy romantic, dirty fingernail rock of the Midwest and soak up the soulful vibes that ooze from the cement blocks in Memphis studios. Lyrically, the band's underdog outlook finds the optimism and the resignation behind worlds faraway, or just on the other side of the screen door. Add it all up and what you get is something that's all its own, something that is pure Bottle Rockets.
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