Our resident jukebox hero, Keith Voegele, former bass player for several Springfield and St. Louis groups and now a member of alt-country icons the Bottle Rockets, recently hit the road again in support of the group’s latest CD, Zoysia. According to the folks at Bloodshot Records, the disk is doing well, and Voegele reports brisk sales at the live shows. That’s partly because the word is out that the Bottle Rockets are back after the band’s leader and songwriter Brian Henneman jumped off the party wagon and decided to make a go of being in a rock & roll band. Another reason for the increased sales? The recording is just plain good. The entire record is a marvelous piece of Midwest rock, with just enough crunch to counter the country and just enough wisdom to counter the whimsy.
“Things are going good, going forward,” says Voegele by cell phone while heading back home through Texas after the recent tour. “We’re doing it the one-by-one way. There’s no instant success.”
The quartet traveled the East Coast in June, went west in July, and finished down in the Lone Star State before returning for an August filled with Midwest shows. At the end of the month they head for Europe and a whirlwind September tour of 14 concerts in 16 days through a mixture of festivals and clubs dates.
Voegele summed up the go-for-it attitude of this version of the Bottle Rockets with his last comment before an Oklahoma hill knocked out the cellular connection: “We’re on a mission.”
The Bottle Rockets join the Damwell Betters and Marah atop the Hilton Springfield parking garage (700 E. Adams St., 217-789-1530) on Thursday, July 27, for the “Kyle Petty Rooftop Pitstop” rockout.
The fourth annual Band Camp at Deer Park (on West State Route 97 near Rock Creek Road, not far from Tallula) takes place Friday-Sunday, July 28-30, with 23 mostly local rock bands hitting it hard all day long and into the night. Original headliners the Mighty Side Show mysteriously backed out of the Saturday-night slot and opted to perform a free show at the Warehouse in Springfield instead. (What’s up with that?) Get your Band Camp news at www.myspace.com/BandCamp4.
One of my favorite bands in the Western world, the Navigators, of Lousiville, Ky., roll into the Underground City Tavern in the Hilton Springfield on Wednesday, Aug. 2. The three of us in attendance at their last show were amazed. Please come and make it four or more.