Robert Jon & The Wreck basks in a ‘Red Moon Rising’

Robert Jon & The Wreck basks in a ‘Red Moon Rising’

If someone were to ask you to envision ‘archetypal Southern rock’, you’d probably spout the names of CCR, Lynard Skynard, ZZ Top. You’d think of “Born on a Bayou” origins, swamps and gators, stretching Atlanta, Georgia down to New Orleans. Not Southern California… anywhere besides Southern California.

Enter Robert Jon & The Wreck — capable southern rockers, albeit west.

With hard-edged guitars and heavy drawls, Robert Jon & The Wreck truly encapsulate the spirit of the ‘California cowboy’, with nods to 80s heavy metal, blues rock, Americana, and the best of country — an unbeatable combination. Formed in 2011, the band has shared stages with the likes of Joe Bonamassa, Blackberry Smoke, Peter Frampton, Joanne Shaw Taylor, The Mavericks, Buddy Guy, and Rival Sons. They have even signed to Bonamassa’s own Journeyman Records! With the release of their eighth studio album, Red Moon Rising, Robert Jon & The Wreck is simply an unstoppable force, sitting at the top of modern Southern rock.

The album starts with a femme fatale foreshadowing: “She’s a natural-born beauty with a deep low cut // Poison in her fingers with a violent strut.” Faced with a “Stone Cold Killer”, Robert Jon and his trusty Wreck Boys make it known they ain’t shakin’ in their boots from some broad. Showcasing impressive instrumentation, from wailing guitars to tickled keys, the boys continue on with even more “Trouble” than a murderous little missy. If a woman isn’t after your wallet, watch out, she might just steal your heart.

Which leads us to “Ballad Of A Broken Hearted Man”…

Clearly, Robert Jon has areas he needs to work on. Melancholic and acoustic, with slide guitars and strings doing the talking, listeners get served up a story of a dejected man who knew what love was… but he has a choice. Despite the cards he’s dealt, he can “dance in the dark” and make his own destiny.

And said destiny starts with a “blood red moon”. Welcome to the ‘Wreck-oning’, boys and girls! After the title track, the curious storytelling continues with “Dragging Me Down”, another opus of a love affair gone awry. Seems like Robert Jon is surrounded by sadistic, salacious Sallys all the time… he might wanna get that checked out. But there’s not enough time to call the doctor, at least not according to the next track, “Hold On”. The pressure is building as the world keeps spinning.

What can you do besides “reach for the future”, stay strong, and “hold on” tight?

The album’s latter half is profoundly more upbeat: listeners get a dose of optimism in “Down No More”, that aforementioned doctor visit in “Help Yourself”, and a little friendly advice in “Worried Mind”. Red Moon Rising then ends with “Give Love”, a missive we should all stand by in these weird times. It’s warm, welcoming, and all-around unifying — what a way to leave off till the next chapter.

This incredible milestone for the band is now available on all digital outlets; we recommend adding it to your summer road trip playlists! Red Moon Rising is also available for a limited time on vinyl and CD for the music purists out there. For more information or to grab your physical copy today, check out the links below.

Track listing:

  1. Stone Cold Killer
  2. Trouble
  3. Ballad Of A Broken Hearted Man
  4. Red Moon Rising
  5. Dragging Me Down
  6. Hold On
  7. Down No More
  8. Help Yourself
  9. Worried Mind
  10. Give Love

Robert Jon & The Wreck – “Trouble”

Links: Facebook | X | Instagram | Website

Share this article


Become a Patron

Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.

Tour dates for robert jon & the wreck

Get music updates in your inbox

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments