Monday, February 26, 2024

Robert Jon & The Wreck’s Ballad of a Broken Hearted Man

Southern rock trailblazers Robert Jon & The Wreck take it somewhat more mellow on their latest single, ‘Ballad of a Broken Hearted Mannow available on all digital platforms.

Acoustic picked with a sweeping slide wail entry point, there’s a mournful gospel feel to frontman Robert Burrison’s vocals here but with a deep bear-like growl undertow that comes more to the fore as the lyrics ensue and the music itself becomes a beefier steady ride. There’s a dash of early Clapton solo material here, during the period he was influenced by roots act Delany & Bonnie but also a jangling within the chords that seems to derive from English folk music. Curiously, these elements form a cohesive whole through a deceptively simple number.

“With an intro that places you on the set of a classic western and a mesmerising guitar riff that takes you right into the action, ‘Ballad of a Broken Hearted Man’ is a story of just that,” the band exclaimed. “Two people down on their luck trying to figure it out together, but for some reason, they never do.” Produced by Kevin Shirley, (Aerosmith, Black Crowes, Iron Maiden) the track showcases Robert Jon & The Wreck’s musical expertise, taking listeners on a journey through a captivating narrative

You can stream the new single here and check out the official music video here at RAMzine.

Having formed in 2011, Robert Jon & The Wreck have consistently grown, both in their musical prowess and their fanbase.  In addition to the release of their new studio album Ride Into The Light, this year also saw RJTW release their first-ever concert film, Live At The Ancienne Belgique, that dropped in April. Recorded during their sold-out show at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Belgium on June 29th, 2022, the live CD/DVD set captures The Wreck amid their longest-ever tour – 67 performances in 75 days across 9 countries.

Prolific songwriters with a wealth of new material who refuse to be constrained by traditional release strategies, the band’s new partnership with Joe Bonamassa’s Journeyman Records affords them the opportunity to work with the world’s top producers and release a steady stream of high-quality singles on an ongoing basis, cutting through the industry chaos and ensuring new music is accessible to fans as intended.

Reigning from Southern California, Robert Jon & The Wreck take the Southern rock sound from the east coast and make it their own. 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), and Warren Murrel (bass) have been electrifying audiences all over the world. Recently, keyboardist Jake Abernathie joined the band as an official member as they continue to tour and record in the studio.

Last December, they released ‘Help Yourself’ as a single, with their singer noting that it was “A song about the importance of self-help and taking care of yourself,” adding. “It’s hard to help others unless you help yourself and take care of yourself first.” 

‘Help Yourself’ is a mellow, rollicking country/rock-leaning track that harks back to the classic tropes of love as a healing force. With its classic sound, the song evokes the spirit of a range of both classic and modern artists like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers Band, and Zac Brown Band, blending that nostalgic essence of Southern rock with a contemporary touch. 

‘Help Yourself’ is also now on all digital platforms via Journeyman Records and you can check out the video to it right here at RAMzine – It’s a nod to Stateside 70s sitcom Three’s Company that was based on the classic UK comedy series Man About The House.

‘Help Yourself’ followed the release of October’s Hold On’ single that delved into the poignant challenges of life on the road, the track relates the sentiments of the working entertainer with its hard, rocking melodies and soulful lyrics. Capturing the essence of endurance and yearning, the lyrics paint a picture of the relentless passage of time and the eternal tug of home.

It was produced by Kevin Shirley (Aerosmith, The Black Crowes, Iron Maiden), and the riff-based rock number has at its heart the earnestness of early Free while delivering the troubadour’s timeless themes to a contemporary listening audience.

’Hold On’ is a track that wrestles with the question of every touring musician of how long can you hold on to this crazy lifestyle of being on the road, away from loved ones and family,” commented frontman Robert Jon Burrison. “The song was recorded at Village Studios in LA and started out as a soundcheck riff, with promise. It turned into a riff-based rock classic, with soaring vocals and ripping guitar lines.”

You can also watch the official music video here at RAMzine.

Rapidly becoming known for delivering raw, emotive sounds that capture the quintessential essence of Southern Rock, before that came Stone Cold Killer, similarly produced by Shirley, and likewise you can check out the accompanying music video here at RAMzine – A playful departure from their previous visuals, it marked the band’s first foray into animation. Directed and animated in black and white by Marco Pavone, the unique visual representation captures the song’s energy and depth as well as fun caricatures of each band member.

A teaser from their forthcoming album slated for release next year, ‘Stone Cold Killer’, the single emerged organically from a rehearsal jam, and, as guitarist Henry James Schneekluth remarked, was recorded “without too much fuss and pretty minimal adjustments” at The Village Studios in Los Angeles in April.

You can check out the animated video to ‘Stone Cold Killer’ here at RAMzine – It’s a cranked-out guitar shuffling tune where Robert Jon relates how he’s committed one step away from a woman on the prowl.


Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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