• In the midst of all the post-grunge fluff and hard pop, [The Bottle Rockets] were a breath of fresh air - something very American and real."

    — Dave Schools (Widespread Panic, Hard-Working Americans, Stockholm Syndrome)
  • A combustible combination of the Replacements and Buck Owens.

    — Esquire
  • Most bands from 20 years back sounds 20 years old, but not The Bottle Rockets, they still sound fresh and they still sound good.

    — Bun E. Carlos, Cheap Trick
  • Henneman deftly combines a quick-witted penchant for wordplay with a troubadour's plain speaking, letting his hooks and the band's thick guitars do the talking when words just aren't enough.

    — The Big Takeover
  • With no end to the current polarized climate in the US on the horizon, it's nice that there are at least a few voices of reason standing up for the simple foundations of democracy. Bottle Rockets front man Brain Henneman has earned a place in this group, almost by default over a seven album career, through his clever, even-handed tirades, both against the PC forces and the neo-cons in between the bands no nonsense blue collar rock.

    — exclaim
  • Before the Drive-By Truckers got in gear, when Ryan Adams was still settling in Whiskeytown, The Bottle Rockets were setting off musical M-80s as perhaps the most underappreciated roots-rock/Americana band of the mid-'90s.

    — Reuters/Hollywood Reporter
  • Revered nearly as much as Uncle Tupelo and its offshoots , no coincidence, given that Rockets leader Brian Henneman roadied for Tupelo, performed on its revered March 6-10, 1992 and played lead guitar on the first Wilco album. With an aesthetic that rediscovered the guitar-powered dynamics of Southern rock even as it kept the honky-tonk faith, The Bottle Rockets quickly carved out their own path in the burgeoning Americana scene, one that celebrated rock & roll power as much as whip-smart storytelling.

    — The Big Takeover
  • The Bottle Rockets kicked my ass the first time I got to hear them.

    — Lucinda Williams
  • If Uncle Tupelo is the Beatles of the alt-country movement, The Bottle Rockets are certainly the Rolling Stones.

    — Spartanburg Herald-Journal
Hometown: 
St Louis, MO

The band was unceremoniously birthed in 1992 and they very quickly became a forebearer for the new style alongside Uncle Tupelo, the Jayhawks, Old 97's, Blue Mountain and Whiskeytown.

When The Bottle Rockets hit the scene in the mid '90s, the world wasn't quite sure what to do with them. With their punk-rock pedigrees and arena-rock energy, their tougher-than-Springsteen storytelling and their romantic hearts sewn bare on their denim sleeves, the pride of Festus, MO confounded musical generalities as they laid waste to clubs across the Midwest and then, soon enough, the nation.

Back in a time when the critical language and resulting idioms for mixing underground rock with country was in its infancy, The Bottle Rockets were fearlessly -- and quite loudly -- playing rootsy weepers alongside howling rave ups, with singer/guitarist Brian Henneman (who paid some dues as a roadie for Uncle Tupelo and playing on their March 16-20, 1992 album and Wilco's debut A.M.) leading the charge as some sort of Roger Miller of the indie set. It's a sound propped up (and hopped up) just as much on the pillars of Leslie West & Mountain as it was on those of the Ramones and the Clash.

Until every regular guy gets a fair shake, the songs and sentiments of the Bottle Rockets will never get stale.  The band, and their sound and their message, goes beyond a time or a place or a fad.  The Bottle Rockets are true folk music, albeit it with beards, biker wallets and a lot more muscle.

Compilation Tracks: 
Recommended if You Like: 
Uncle Tupelo
Old 97's
Son Volt
Drive-By Truckers
Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Lynyrd Skynyrd

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