Over the past decade, Robert Jon and the Wreck has been one of the most prolific bands in blues rock. Not only has the band put out several albums, but the quality has also remained high with each release. In 2020, Robert Jon and the Wreck’s previous release, Last Light On The Highway, was voted #10 on Blues Rock Review’s top 20 albums of 2020. 2021 sees the release of Shine A Light On Me Brother and the quality has never been better.
The title track kicks off the album and is a pandemic-inspired soul track about pushing forward. One thing that has always stood out with Robert Jon and the Wreck is the band’s knack for writing hooks. “Ain’t No Love Song” has an incredibly infectious chorus and is a very radio-friendly track with a perfect hitting guitar solo from Henry James. Robert Jon Burrison’s lead vocals are well complimented by the backing vocals of Mahalia Barnes and Juanita Tippins who fans might recognize from their work with Joe Bonamassa along with Prinnie Stevens.
Speaking of catchy tunes, “Chicago” is another one of the album’s standout tracks with its big sing-along chorus and the killer horn section of Jason Parfait and Ian Smith. This will definitely be a crowd pleaser in the live environment.
While Shine A Light On Me Brother definitely has songs of hope, the album also hits heavier topics. “Anna Maria” is about a doomed relationship where Burrison belts, “You’re so cruel” and “Brother” is a track about mental health that really hits home for the band. The song was inspired by a friend close to the group battling mental health issues. Henry James’ guitar solo here really elevates one of the best tracks on the album.
Robert Jon and the Wreck are a United States based band that is carving out a nice audience in the UK and Europe but deserves a wider audience worldwide. This is one of the best blues rock band’s in the world today. The musicianship is topnotch, the songs are great, and this is a band that can be appreciated by a wide variety of listeners. Shine A Light On Me Brother is Robert Jon and the Wreck’s best album to date which is saying a lot. It’s a great album from start to finish.
The Review: 9.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Ain’t No Love Song
– Anna Maria
The Big Hit