ROBERT JON & THE WRECK – Shine A Light On Me Brother (2021)

ROBERT JON & THE WRECK - Shine A Light On Me Brother (2021) full

Over the past decade, ROBERT JON & THE WRECK has been one of the most prolific bands in blues rock. Not only has the band put out several quality albums, but received numerous accolades and rave reviews from nominations of “Best Rock” and “Best Blues” and winning the title of “Best Live Band” at the Orange County Music Awards in 2013, to being hailed as “keeping the history of classic 60’s and 70’s rock alive for newer generations” by blues guitar legend Joe Bonamassa.
If you want to know why they’ve garnered such high praise, just take a listen to their latest album, the upcoming ‘Shine A Light On Me Brother’. It’s a thrilling slice of Southern blues rock with nerve riffs and great melody, classic sounding with an updated production.

‘Shine A Light On Me Brother’ opens with its title track, which was released as a single back in June and was rightly described it as an “instant classic” by Metal Planet Music’s very own Paul Monkhouse. Blending rock and roll with the gospel roots that the band grew up on, the track deals with the obstacles, hurdles, and hardships brought on by 2020, while crying out with a soulful hope of normalcy. It’s a storming opener, and sets a high bar for the rest of the album.

The post-pandemic theme continues into ‘Everyday’, which speaks to the desire to get together with friends, play music, have some beers, and just spend time with each other in person again. ‘Everyday’ is a looser jam track, with additional background vocals from Mahalia Barnes, Juanita Tippins, and Prinnie Stevens, and features some soaring guitar licks courtesy of Henry James.
Next we have ‘Ain’t No Young Love Song’, an anthemic love song that seems tailor-made for radio airplay. ‘Chicago’ is also about love, but is more bittersweet (the city of Chicago is asked to “look after her when I’m gone”), and the depth of feeling is enhanced by the horn arrangement provided by 504 Horns from New Orleans, LA.

Despite its name, ‘Hurricane’ is the most subdued track on the album, and shows that this band can deliver nuance as well as storming Southern rock. It’s a beautifully tender acoustic ballad where the moving lyrics are perfectly matched by the minimalistic instrumentals.
The pace picks up again as we enter the second half of the album with ‘Desert Sun’, a song that’s about unrequited love. Written by Henry James, it’s soulful, uninhibited and honest. Where ‘Desert Sun’ is lyrically-driven, the following track ‘Movin’’ is guitar-driven, with one of the best riffs of the album delivering one of its standout tracks.

‘Anna Maria’ provides another standout, telling the story of a doomed relationship. It’s great lyrically, and has some engaging melodic touches that are heightened by the soaring vocals – it’s probably my favorite track of the album.

As the album nears its end we reach ‘Brother’, a moving story about supporting loved ones with mental health issues. It’s a powerful and poignant track, with a transcendent guitar solo. ‘Radio’ brings things to a close with a short, sharp barn-burner of a track that presents us with an allegory about dealing with the music industry.

With ‘Shine A Light On Me Brother’ Robert Jon & The Wreck have not only demonstrated their mastery of the Southern blues rock genre, but also delivered a cracker of an album that’s packed with great lyrics and skillful instrumentals.
Highly Recommended


01 – Shine a Light on Me Brother
02 – Everyday
03 – Ain’t No Young Love Song
04 – Chicago
05 – Hurricane
06 – Desert Sun
07 – Movin’
08 – Anna Maria
09 – Brother
10 – Radio

Robert Jon Burrison | Lead vocals, guitar
Andrew Espantman | Drums, backing vocals
Steve Maggiora | Keyboards, backing vocals
Henry James | Lead guitar, backing vocals
Warren Murrel | Bass, backing vocals


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1 Response

  1. jayman says:

    Thanks, Looking forward to this

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