Review: Robert Jon & The Wreck – Live At The Ancienne Belgique


Robert Jon & The Wreck - Live At The Ancienne Belgique

Robert Jon & The Wreck – Live At The Ancienne Belgique
Format: CD – DVD / Label: Journeyman Records
Release: 2023

Tekst: Bert van Kessel

Robert Jon & The Wreck have evolved into one of the most exciting rock bands of the 21st century, rivalling top acts like the E Street Band and the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Their two latest studio efforts ‘Last Light On The Highway‘ ( from which three songs are featured) and ‘Shine A Light On Me Brother‘ received rave reviews  and this live document confirms their immense potential.

It was recorded in Brussels on June 29th 2022, after a lengthy world tour, in a classic line-up, without the horns but with impeccable keyboard contributions from fifth member Steve Maggiora. The five friends from Orange County, California have got their feet firmly set in Southern Rock: their influences Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and TheBlack Crowes are never far away, but they have developed into much more than that; the passionate outfit offers a dazzling overview of their eleven-year existence, delivering superb melodies with heavyy riffs and catchy hooks that stick.

With Robert John Burrison’s rough and flexible vocals to tie it all together. But the real star of the night is undoubtedly guitarist Henry James ( who has been with the band since 2017); he takes every opportunity to step into the limelight with dynamite soloing. The heavy rock sound takes us back to the glorious double live albums of the seventies, including extensive guitar and keyboard solos.

The soaring guitars in the opening track The Devil Is Your Only Friend make it very clear: This is a rock show! Henry James plays his heart out. On the next track he is helped out by Robert Jon on guitar as well. The twin guitars are reminiscent of The Allman Brothers.

With an immense amount of energy the thirteen songs are delivered to an enthusiastic audience. The band take their foot off the accelerator just twice for the slowburning crowd favourite Oh Miss Carolina and the intense ballad The Death Of Me, which both accentuate what a great singer Robert Jon is.

The twin guitars in the closing track Cold Night take us back to the heydays of Duane and Dickey once again. And then a great night is over. I only wish I could have been there.

All I can do now is play the album again and again and  follow the band’s advice to ”grab a beer and get Wrecked”. I suggest you do the same.

01. The Devil Is Your Only Friend
02. Do You Remember
03. Henry Guitar Solo
04. Hey Hey Mama
05. She’s A Fighter
06. Blame It On The Whiskey
07. Old Friend
08. Shine A Light On Me Brother
09. Oh Miss Carolina
10. Steve Keyboard Solo
11. The Death Of Me
12. Don’t Let Me Go
13. Tired Of Drinking Alone
14. Cold Night


26 May 2023 Middelburg – De Spot
27 May 2023 Sneek – Bolwerk
28 May 2023 Peer – Blues Peer Festival
29 May 2023 Raalte – Ribs § Blues Festival