ROBERT JON & THE WRECK – Ride Into The Light (2023)

ROBERT JON & THE WRECK - Ride Into The Light (2023) - full

Southern California-based roots rockers ROBERT JON & THE WRECK already surprised us with their really good last albums (featured at 0dayrox) and now 2023 the band continue to turn the best parts of classic rock into irresistible new songs on their upcoming album ”Ride Into The Light”.
Packed with blistering blues-rock and sun-soaked ballads, ”Ride Into The Light” is as high-octane as it is soul-stirring, proving that rock & roll is thriving in 2023. Reinvigorating their traditional production process, The Wreck teamed up for this release with the legendary producers Don Was (John Mayer, Bonnie Raitt), Dave Cobb (Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton), Kevin Shirley (Iron Maiden, The Black Crowes), and guitar maestros Joe Bonamassa & Josh Smith (Eric Gales, Joanne Shaw Taylor).
The resulting album released on Joe Bonamassa’s Journeyman Records label finds the band reaching a new level of musicianship and songwriting prowess, delivering a fresh take on Rock & Roll while evoking the golden classic rock era.

”Ride Into The Light” is another fine showing from one of the most vital bands of the present day. The group delivers one great performance after another out of everyone involved.
Robert Jon’s magic lives in his ability to seamlessly connect the hard riffs of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the soul of The Allman Brothers and Joe Bonamassa, and the hooks of Tom Petty into new songs that are free of cliches and full of power. He gets better at doing it with each new release and ”Ride Into The Light” is clearly his most realized effort to date.

Among the highlights we find the the instant rock and roll anthem “Come At Me,” the Americana-inspired “Who Can You Love,” and the riff-driven rock tracks “Pain No More” and “One Of A Kind.” These are the cuts produced by Grammy winners Don Was and Dave Cobb and are among the best selections on the record.

“Pain No More” opens ”Ride Into The Light” with the bare-knuckle side of the band but quickly shifts gears into more melodic territory. Robert Jon and his band, made up of Andrew Espantman (drums, background vocals), Henry James Schneekluth (lead guitar, background vocals), Jake Abernathie (keyboards), and Warren Murrel (bass), slide from one flavor to another with the ease of players who comprehend the big picture intuitively.
Schneekluth’s lead guitar work is especially satisfying and Robert Jon’s vocals top off the arrangement with his easily identifiable sound.

The mellow “Who Can You Love” brings with it a taste of Eagles-ish feel complete with sweet vocal harmonies and tasty guitar parts. It’s one of those songs that has “hit single” written all over it and shows off the smooth and melodic sounds Robert Jon & The Wreck can create. RJ croons out the lyrics in a believable way devoid of cheese, which is tough to do in a love song, while The Wreck keeps a chill-but-steady pocket behind him. Once again, Henry James Schneekluth adds some perfect lead guitar licks, including some cool pedal-steel lines. He’s a future legend on his way up and fans of melodic, blues-based guitar virtuosity need to get acquainted with him.

“Bring Me Back Home Again” is a Southern Rock epic that employs electric and acoustic textures, a more complex structure, and outstanding dynamics. Robert Jon gives it all at the vocal microphone, coming off as larger than life. The rest of the band ebbs and flows with him and puts down some of their tightest ensemble work on the record.
“West Coast Eyes” gets back to the California sound and features a wonderful slide guitar solo. “Don’t Look Down” is all about 70s hard rock, going for maximum impact from the jump. The title song, “Ride Into The Light” is plenty of a soulful feel and some well-harmonized twin guitar lines.

If it sounds like Robert Jon & The Wreck can do it all, it’s because they can. In the realm of American, song-oriented rock and roll, they’re the standard bearer all the rest must follow. Listen just once and you’ll know this to be true.
Highly Recommended


01 – Pain No More
02 – Who Can You Love
03 – Come At Me
04 – One Of A Kind
05 – Bring Me Back Home Again
06 – West Coast Eyes
07 – Don’t Look Down
08 – Ride Into The Light
09 – Going Down
10 – Goodbye Baby

Robert Jon Burrison – lead vocals, guitar
Henry James – lead guitar, vocals
Andrew Espantman – drums, backing vocals
Jake Abernathie – keyboards
Warren Murrel – bass
Joe Bonamassa, Josh Smith (guest guitar)


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