Bottle Rockets – Not So Loud: An Acoustic Evening with the Bottle Rockets

January 01, 1970



Not So Loud constitutes a rare unplugged offering from a band that’s always favored up-tempo
tunes and a persistent penchant for veracity. Happily then, the Bottle Rockets’
choice to substitute acoustic guitars and a back porch assortment of banjo, lap
steel, mandolin and upright bass doesn’t diminish from the groups usual MO.
Indeed, their resilience and resolve are as effusive as always, even when the
volume is turned down a few notches and more tender sentiments are pushed to
the fore.


Recorded on the second floor of a historic schoolhouse in
St. Louis, the band applied the gravitas that would naturally accompany such
intimate environs, though they didn’t leave their irreverence at the door
entirely. Where a previous concert album, Live In Heilbronn/Germany, amplified their attitude and left the
fringes well frayed, Not So Loud abides by the dictates of its title and
takes a rustic tack instead, particularly on songs such as “Early in the
Morning,” “Rural Route” and “1000 Dollar Car” where the rudimentary
arrangements affirm the band’s down home demeanor.


The folksy patter
between tunes reflects the intimacy of these performances, and singer Brian
Henneman’s humorous recollection of battling boisterous crowds at a Dolly
Parton concert on “Perfect Far Away” suggests there’s still room for a nod and
a wink amidst even the more subdued sentiments. They tip their collective cap
to others as well, giving a nod to the Boss with the rugged “Lucky Break,” and
finding a similarity in style to John Hiatt on the easy, ambling “Kit Kat
Clock.” Each offers the impression that this must have been a most enjoyable
evening indeed.

DOWNLOAD: “Perfect Far Away,”
“”Lucky Break,” “1000 Dollar Car” LEE ZIMMERMAN

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