By Mike Alahverdian, Rock At Night New England
Review: Robert Jon & The Wreck’s Ride Into the Light-August 4 2023
When you think of great Southern rock bands that originated in the South, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker Band, and many others may come to mind. But did you know that Lowell George and Little Feat formed in California? You may also have heard of another band with some Southern flair of their own. Robert Jon & The Wreck also originated in California and have shared their music with fans worldwide.
Their new album, Ride Into The Light, is a fine example of what Southern rock is all about. Since their inception in 2011, these native Californians; Robert Jon Burrison (lead vocals, guitar), Andrew Espantman (drums, background vocals), Henry James Schneekluth (lead guitar, background vocals), Warren Murrel (bass) and Jake Abernathie (keyboards) have been gaining audiences all over the world with their combination of incredible musicianship, and outstanding songwriting.
Working with Grammy award-winning producers Don Was and Dave Cobb, along with Kevin Shirley and the incredible duo of Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith, via Bonamassa’s Journeyman Records, this is a talent-filled team of producers that most artists could only dream about working with.
This album has something for everyone. If you like riff-driven songs with some edge, then “Pain No More” and “Don’t Look Down” may be your preference. But if you prefer a slower, ballad-style love song, “Who Can You Love” is beautiful, as is “West Coast Eyes,” produced by Bonamassa and Smith and features the outstanding session keyboardist Jeff Babko.
“Come At Me” and “One Of a Kind” features superb vocals and guitar work from Burrison and Schneekluth.,while Murrel, Abernathie, and Espantman, provide the foundation, stay in the pocket, and put the finishing touches on two of the finer songs on the album. “Bring Me Back Home Again,” tells of the longing to be allowed back to regain a lost love. “Ride Into The Light” is the most optimistic song on this fine album. The singer tells of doom and gloom in the opening lyrics. You might be saying, but how is that optimistic? Listen to the song. As they say, leave your worries at the door, hold on tight, and ride into the light.
Robert Jon & The Wreck have created an excellent album that will attract an even larger fan base. You couldn’t expect anything less from a band so dedicated to their fans that they seemingly are always recording or on tour.
The band has also released a visually stunning video for their song “Don’t Look Down.” The video was directed and edited by drummer Andrew Espantman. If you are afraid of heights, prepare to close your eyes.
Ride Into The Light by Robert Jon & The Wreck 1. Pain No More – Produced by Dave Cobb 2. Who Can You Love – Produced by Don Was 3. Come At Me – Produced by Don Was 4. One Of A Kind – Produced by Dave Cobb 5. Bring Me Back Home Again – Produced by Kevin Shirley 6. West Coast Eyes – Produced by Joe Bonamassa & Josh Smith 7. Don’t Look Down – Produced by Joe Bonamassa & Josh Smith 8. Ride Into The Light – Produced by Kevin Shirley
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