Bottle Rockets Provide Logic To Us All

Read about the new recording ‘Bit Logic’ from Bottle Rockets

Bottle Rockets

Bottle Rockets

‘Bit Logic’

Out October 12 via Bloodshot Records

Formed nearly thirty years ago, Bottle Rockets have been treating us to their unique brand of driving, unadulterated small-town roots rock.

The band’s new, and thirteenth, release Bit Logic (via Bloodshot Records out October 12) may prove to be a different sort of album for the St. Louis natives.


Recorded in St. Louis at Sawhorse Studios,  the new material reportedly has them looking at their unique stylistic blend through a different lens.  While one of the group’s earmarks is constructing blue-collar anthems (“1000 Dollar Car”, “Welfare Music”, “Dog” are perfect examples), Bit Logic has the quartet focusing outside themselves, at how change and adaptation affects the bigger picture.  Bottle Rockets (members Brian Henneman – guitars, lead vocals, Mark Ortmann – drums, John Horton – guitar, Keith Voegle – bass) enlisted longtime studio collaborator Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (The Del-Lords, Steve Earle) as producer.

“We were not planning any kinda ‘theme’ to this album, but one kinda showed up,” said Henneman.  “If it’s about anything at all, it’s an album about existing in this modern world.Trying to dodge depression and anger.  These songs are views from the moments when you’re mostly succeeding at it.”  

The band returned to its more democratic songwriting approach this time, which generated four co-written songs, in contrast to their previous and critically acclaimed album, South Broadway Athletic Club, which Henneman primarily wrote.  Leading up to their time in the studio, Henneman sent around some bare-bones acoustic iPhone recordings that would serve as the album’s blueprint, and the group fleshed out one song a day by means of three four-day studio sessions.

The group reportedly went into the recording sessions with a fresh outlook – to bring out more of their Americana influences and to write a record that more accurately reflected their collective approach.  What they found while doing so surprised them.

“The past provided touchstones,” said Ambel.  “Times when you could hear Merle Haggard and the Grateful Dead on the same radio station.  The country vibe came from the sounds that inspired us in the studio.  Sounds from the more experimental times of country.  Post Hank, post George.”

Other inspirations come from sources like Don Williams, Poco, Jackson Browne and Jerry Reed.

The title track and “Lo-Fi” are pointed laments of how the ever-relevant topic of modernization affects the individual—how it can be a marvelous dream, but also a dehumanizing reality.  In “Bit Logic” Henneman and Ortmann team up to pen some clever and conscious wordplay: “In my technicolor childhood / We burned incandescent dreams / Illuminatin’ on these future things / That didn’t turn out like we thought they would.”

But there’s always the other side of the coin, as in “Lo-Fi”: “Al Green in the kitchen/ On the AM radio/ Best bad sound that I ever did know/ Scratchy and it’s muddy / But it carries me through/ Straight on down to Memphis in ’72.”

To demonstrate the direction even further, here are some lyrics from “Bad Time to Be an Outlaw.”

That Nashville Pop it ain’t my deal
Even though that cash flow’s real
But these days “What Would Waylon Do?”
Don’t make much money sad but true
It’s a bad time to be an outlaw

Don’t get me wrong I love what I do
Couldn’t even change it if I wanted to
But random selection of the universe
Is makin’ me think my job’s a curse
It’s a bad time to be an outlaw


Kid Logic Track List

1. Bit Logic
2. Highway 70 Blues
3. Lo-Fi
4. Maybe Tomorrow
5. Bad Time to Be An Outlaw
6. Saxophone
7. Human Perfection
8. Knotty Pine
9. Way Down South
10. Doomsday Letter
11. Stovall’s Grove
12. Silver Ring

Bottle Rockets Tour Dates

Aug. 16 — El Dorado, AR — The Griffin
Aug. 17 — Pocola, OK — Gilley’s at Choctaw Casino
Aug. 18 — Reeds Spring, MO — Living Room Show
Aug. 30 — New Albany, IN — Living Room Show
Aug. 31 — Manchester, KY — Manchester Music Fest
Sept. 7 — Crystal City, MO — Twin City Days Party on the Cobblestone
Sept. 14 — Nashville, TN Bloodshot Records Backyard Bash @ AmericanaFest
Oct. 11 — Grand Rapids, MI — Tip Top Deluxe Bar and Grill
Oct. 13 — Buffalo, NY — Sportsmen’s Tavern
Oct. 14 — Toronto, Ontario Canada — Lee’s Palace
Oct. 16 — Northampton, MA — Iron Horse Music Hall
Oct. 17 — New York, NY — Hill Country Live
Oct. 18 — Washington, D.C. — Gypsy Sally’s
Oct. 19 — Philadelphia, PA — Milkboy
Oct. 21 — Charleston, WV — Mountain Stage
Nov. 7 — Wisconsin Dells, WI — Showboat Saloon
Nov. 9 — Three Oaks, MI — Acorn Theater
Nov. 14 — St. Paul, MN — Turf Club

Read about the new recording ‘Bit Logic’ from Bottle Rockets


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Author: Rob Dickens

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