The Bottle Rockets – First Albums Re-Released

Read about the re-issue of two cult classic Bottle Rocket albums


The Bottle Rockets hit the scene in the mid ‘90s and have taken a bit of getting used to.  The group from Festus, Missouri are harder than most to pigeon-hole.  Fearless, loud, mixing rustic weepers alongside howling rave ups – perhaps a punk heart in a rootsy body?  The members are Brian Henneman, Mark Ortmann, John Horton and Keith Voegele.

The Bottle Rockets’ first and second albums Bottle Rockets and The Brooklyn Side, are widely revered as not only two of the band’s finest releases, but also two formative, flagship recordings of an era where their genre was not recognised.  The band appeared at the 2013 Americana Music Conference and have been playing their particular unique brand well before the Americana music term came to mean what it does today.  The band was unceremoniously birthed in 1992 and they very quickly became a forbearer for the new style alongside Uncle Tupelo, Old 97’s, and Whiskeytown (Ryan Adams).

Bottle Rockets and The Brooklyn Side are swept together here as a remastered two-CD deluxe reissue set of the long out-of-print albums, with an additional 19 previously unreleased tracks.  The package consists of an extensive 40-page booklet detailing the band in full context of the ‘90s alternative-country scene, with editorial contributions from respected peers and fellow musicians such as Steve Earle, Patterson Hood (from the Drive-By-Truckers), Lucinda Williams, and many others.  Both reissued albums and bonus material have been remastered under the supervision of famed producer and musician Eric “Roscoe” Ambel.

bottle-rockets-debutBottle Rockets was originally released in 1993 and was the first true showing of the band’s signature country-aware, rough and ragged rock ‘n’ roll style, matched with Brian Henneman’s blue-collar songwriting skills, with lyrics depicting the life, struggle and dark humors of everyday people.  The eponymous album notably features back-up vocal performances from former members of Uncle Tupelo: Jeff Tweedy (now of Wilco) and Jay Farrar (Son Volt). Bonus tracks include original demos from Henneman, both solo and backed by the members of Uncle Tupelo, acoustic demos, and Chicken Truck/pre-Bottle Rockets-era recordings.

In 1994 The Brooklyn Side came out to a relatively greater amount of significant success, marked both by its stature in the now burgeoning alt- movement and as The Bottle Rockets’ most popular effort to date.  Following the album release, the band later signed with major label Atlantic Records, toured widely, and reached a national audience with an appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.   Bonus songs for The Brooklyn Side reissue include acoustic demos, unreleased tracks from the album sessions, and live recordings from the era.

The songs, stories and sentiments found on Bottle Rockets and The Brooklyn Side sound pretty fresh to my ears and so they remain relevant many years down the track – always a good sign.  The Bottle Rockets never have seemed to do things the easy way and with an uncompromising sound in tow.

This is a document of where it all started for The Bottle Rockets.

I must (somewhat embarrassingly) admit that I came late onto the band’s scene – what have I been doing with my time??!!  But these two re-issues are engrossing – needless to say I will be advancing the band’s cause within these pages hereon in.


Read about the re-issue of two cult classic Bottle Rocket albums

Read about the re-issue of two cult classic Bottle Rocket albums



(Visited 206 times, 1 visits today)

Author: Rob Dickens

Share This Post On
468 ad

Leave a Reply