For hardworking bands like the Bottle Rockets, getting to the next gig often means fighting through one of life’s universal miseries: traffic. The group laments a strangled stretch of interstate on their new song, “Highway 70 Blues,” which makes its premiere on Rolling Stone Country today. The tune is the second to surface from the Midwestern roots rockers’ upcoming album Bit Logic, which will be released on October 12th.
Throughout “Highway 70 Blues,” band frontman Brian Henneman sings with wry humor about the stress of staring at a sea of brake lights, particularly referencing I-70, a main artery into his band’s home city of St. Louis: “Well I’ve driven all across this land, and I’ve come to understand, that if you’re in a hurry to cross Missouri, things might not go as planned.”
According to Henneman, the lyrics are as honest as they sound, written mostly in his head on a trip home from Omaha. “Like most things I write, it’s pretty much just a police report of the incident,” he says.
While the song is full of observations noticed with a foot on the brake, musically it chugs along at a spry pace with twangy electric roadhouse riffs. Sonically, it’s right in line with the sound the band helped pioneer nearly three decades ago, when they formed alongside alt-country contemporaries like Uncle Tupelo.
After performing at this week’s AmericanaFest in Nashville, the band will support Bit Logic, their 13th album, with a slate of tour dates in October and November.