Last night I saw two great sets from the pride of Festus, Missouri – The Bottle Rockets. Great albums and an even better band live, and it’s nights like that which make me thankful that there are still some great bands making the rounds these days playing Great American Music.
Of course, radio isn’t exactly following suit…roots rock, Americana and good old country soul rock’n’roll doesn’t market to the tweens. That’s the target audience with the most disposable income, the highest sheep mentality and the most easily swayed loyalty. And since no one is trying to cultivate careers anymore, it’s all about the quick hit and the cash grab, because tomorrow is someone else’s marketing bonanza.
Well, there are great bands out there plugging in and rocking out, and despite the ambivalence of the media, they’ve managed to carve out a career and a loyal audience. It’s not likely that they’ll play the Enormodome anytime soon, but who wants to watch a band through binoculars, anyway? Give me the honest sweat and pulse of a great club show any day.
The Bottle Rockets are such a band – they play with passion and heart and write songs about real people and real lives. They’ll plug in and blast off just as hard for fifty people as they will for fifteen hundred or fifteen thousand. So in their honor, here are ten artists that your neighbor might not know the name of, but their mission was to carry the torch for Great American Rock’n’Roll.
All deserve to be household names, and in my world, they are.
01) The Bottle Rockets: “I’ll Be Comin’ Around”
02) Jason and the Scorchers: “White Lies”
03) Webb Wilder: “Tough It Out”
04) The Del Lords: “Burning In The Flame Of Love”
05) Terry Anderson: “You Know Me”
06) Dan Baird: “I Love You Period”
07) The Jayhawks: “Save It For a Rainy Day”
08) Lucero: “She’s Just That Kinda Girl”
09) Drive-By Truckers: “This Fucking Job”
10) The Beat Farmers: “Hollywood Hills”
Of course, it’s just ten songs, not the canon. From Credence to The Replacements, from Walk The West to The Bo Deans, from The Blasters to The Gaslight Anthem, there’s a wealth of timeless music beyond that radio dial. Enjoy these ten, and go find yourself some more.