In recent years, the band has not only toured alongside pop-rock legend Marshall Crenshaw but has also played as his backing band. Henneman said figuring out Crenshaw's complex chord progressions was intimidating at first but has ultimately pushed he and his band mates.
"It was good for us. It expanded my process of songwriting and stuff like that. Just figuring how different chords do different things," he said about their time on the road with Crenshaw. "It was like going somewhere we didn't naturally go and we went and we figured it out. So, we're smarter than what I gave us credit for."
Henneman and company certainly do deserve some credit for being a smart group of guys for other reasons as well. Noticing a shift in the music industry - particularly in booking tours - the band started playing stripped down shows in their fans' living rooms.
"It was basically a thing to make up for the fact that, over the course of time, the business is just getting weird," Henneman said. "Lots of clubs are closing down and there's just not as many places to play anymore."
Aside from providing fans with an intimate setting for a show, Henneman said the band does well financially.
"The money is comparable to a club date in the end. You might make a little bit less but, it's such a good time and such a no hassle thing that it's worth it," he said. "It's hard to think about going to see a show in a stinky old bar room after that."
Regardless of who he's played with or what he's done to sustain a career, there's no question Henneman and The Bottle Rockets have been right in line - not only musically, but also ethically - with the do-it-yourself and sometimes gritty nature of alt-country. While he embraces his position in that world, he admits it was never a conscious decision.
"It's just kind of like what I did and somebody else threw me there. It's not necessarily like it had its own appeal; it's that's just the kind of music we made," Henneman said. "So, somebody thought up a name for it and, boom, there we were: alt-country."