Bottle Rockets Blue Sky

Bottle Rockets Blue Sky
Following their excellent tribute to Doug Sahm last year, Songs Of Sahm, the Rockets are back refreshed and picking up where they left off as America’s smartest rednecks. Blue Sky is actually a comeback in more ways than one, as the band quietly went on hiatus in the face of failing to expand their audience. While the market for the Rockets’ brand of blue-collar rock has shrunk as much as America’s manufacturing industry, that hasn’t changed leader Brian Henneman’s approach. Opening track "Lucky Break” extols the virtues of workman’s comp, while "Man Of Constant Anxiety” should become an anthem for anyone who’s ever been threatened by a layoff. Of course, it’s all injected with a heavy dose of humour, especially when Henneman examines the battle of the sexes on "Baby’s Not My Baby Tonight” and the self-explanatory "Men & Women.” Production by Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes, and his long-time engineer Michael Barbiero keeps the guitars front and centre, but unlike past efforts, it seems Henneman is more concerned with having each song stand on its own. Once upon a time, his talents would have put him in the same league as John Fogerty, but for now he’ll just have to be content with making another consistently satisfying album. (Sanctuary)