BOTTLE ROCKETS Blue Sky (Sanctuary) Rating: NN
Hooking up with Warren Hayes may help the Bottle Rockets get in the back door of the jam band circuit, but his involvement as producer of Blue Sky appears to have coincided with an unsavoury turn toward schmaltzy MORicana. The tempos have been slowed to a crawl, the guitar distortion replaced with gentle acoustic picking, and Brian Hennemen's sweet crooning is moved way up in the mix so you can hear every sappy lyrical reference to pretty flowers and puppies. It sounds like they recorded Blue Sky without ever getting up off the couch. The Bottle Rockets show their sensitive side at the 360 Tuesday (November 11).