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The Bottle Rockets is an alt-country music group formed in 1992 in Festus, Missouri. The founding members were Brian Henneman (guitar, vocals), Mark Ortmann (drums), Tom Parr (1992-2002, guitar, vocals) and Tom Ray (1992-1997, bass guitar). Current members include John Horton (joined 2003, guitar) and Keith Voegele (joined 2005, bass, vocals). Most members of the group have contributed compositions to their repertoire, as have Robert Parr (Tom's brother) and schoolteacher Scott Taylor (who writes lyrics for some of Henneman's tunes).
The Bottle Rockets formed in 1992 and released Bottle Rockets. Bottle Rockets released their second album, The Brooklyn Side, on East Side Digital, in 1994. They were then signed by Atlantic Records, who re-released The Brooklyn Side in 1995. The situation with Atlantic Records turned out to be less than ideal, with Atlantic postponing the release of their next record, 24 Hours A Day, until late 1997. Atlantic didn't promote the records at all which means they didn't sell, and Atlantic dropped them early in 1998.
They then signed with Doolittle records, which has since developed into New West Records. Doolittle released an EP of outtakes from 24 Hours A Day called Leftovers in 1998. About this time, Tom Ray was replaced on by bass by Robert Kearns. The Bottle Rockets' fourth full length record, Brand New Year, was released on Doolittle in 1999. The band again had problems with their record label, and did not record anything else until Songs of Sahm, a collection of songs by Doug Sahm, which came out on Bloodshot Records in early 2002. Shortly after finishing this record, Parr left the band. The band toured as three-piece for a while, and recorded their fifth full length record Blue Sky (which was released in 2003 on the Sanctuary label), before adding multi-instrumentalist John Horton to the band.
Kearns amicably split with the band in the spring of 2005 to play with new-country artist Chris Cagle. After a brief stint with former Rocket Park frontman and Bargain Basement founder Brian Andrew Marek, The Bottle Rockets named Keith Voegele as their new bassist. Voegele is from St Louis and played in bands around the city including the Phonocaptors.
The Bottle Rockets' first live album "Live in Heilbronn, Germany" was released in February 2006. The double-disc set was recorded on July 17th 2005 at the Burgerhaus, Heilbronn-Bockingen, Germany. It was released in Europe on CD and vinyl by Blue Rose Records.
Bloodshot Records released the band's next album, Zoysia, recorded in Ardent Studios in Memphis with legendary producer Jeff Powell, in June 2006.