The Bottle Rockets were a band from my small Missouri hometown who struck it big around the time when I was in high school. The band was the day gig for Brian Henneman, sound tech for Uncle Tupelo and guitarist on Wilco’s debut album. They had a record deal, a top 40 hit, and a pretty big cult following. Back in the day, they had a reputation for being one of the best bar bands in the country. To my ears, their first two albums sounded like songwriter John Prine fronting the band Crazy Horse. It wasn’t until after I graduated college that I realized how strange it was…I just assumed that everyone had a band from their hometown who wrote songs about the school janitor, whose literature teacher had some songwriting credits, and whose drummer was the dentist’s son. The band’s rhythm guitarist had a gig as the maintenance guy at my grade school; when I of drinking age and old enough to see them on tour, I’d shout out requests for the couple of songs where he sang lead. They obliged.
The band has had several lineup changes and label switches, but they’ve stuck around forever. They’ve got a new album coming out this fall. And I get to be an executive producer. Until the end of the month, the band is raising funds to record the new album. Among the perks is that a donor will get to be listed as an executive producer on the new album.
The Bottle Rockets have been a part of my life long enough that I had to help. If you’ve got some spare change lying around, you should sign up to be an executive producer, too.