The Bottle Rockets
[AMERICANA] As a genre, Americana has become somewhat of a catchall: if it twangs but lacks that gahd-awful mainstream country polish, we’re calling it Americana. And that’s fine. As Shovels and Rope’s Cary Ann Hearst pointed out to me in an interview earlier this year, it gives many artists, “…a place to go,” which, from a marketing standpoint, is a boon. Generally speaking, artists don’t want to have much to do with the marketing end of their careers, but it’s a big help for the rest of us if we can relate music in relative terms. Out of the St. Louis area over 25 years ago now, the pre-Americana market didn’t know what to make of The Bottle Rockets, a rollicking, rootsy four-piece that’ll rattle the floorboards a bit at Sportsmen’s Tavern on Saturday, October 13, just a day after the release of Bit Logic, the band’s thirteenth album. Comparisons to Woody Guthrie have cropped up repeatedly — mainly a reference to the everyman-tone of the songwriting — but musically, The Bottle Rockets channel the punk energy of bands like The Replacements, resulting in something that more closely resembles the louder moments of Uncle Tupelo’s (short) output. The production has smoothed a little over the years, but The Bottle Rockets still kick out a pleasingly edgy show while the tunes on Bit Logic take a stab at the state of Nashville’s ‘modern country’ scene and, collectively, address a longing for simpler times — call it an aging outlaw’s survival guide for a fame-obsessed world, and we could learn plenty from these guys. Boston’s Sarah Borges opens, of Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles, touring her new disc Love’s Middle Name. With connections to the Berklee College of Music scene, Borges cut her teeth in some mighty competitive environs and remains a well kept secret that needs to get out, so get to the gig early for her set.