at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., May 12, 2022

ROBERT JON & THE WRECK (Live at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., May 12, 2022)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Although they’ve been around for over a decade and have 8 albums under their collective belts and have toured with the likes of Joe Bonamassa and Peter Frampton, it seems as though the UK has finally woken up to the delights of one of the hidden secrets of Southern Rock.

With the whiskey soaked, gravel hewn voice of Robert Jon Burrison and the scorching, dirty slide work from Henry James and the slamming honky tonk piano of Steve Maggiora, Robert Jon & the Wreck come across as a lethal cocktail of prime time Lynyrd Skynyrd and Mick Taylor era Rolling Stones.

From opener “Devil Is Your Only Friend” to the heads down steamroller of “Waiting For Your Man” and the more reflective “On, Miss Carolina”, with its lazing on a sunny afternoon vibe, this was potent stuff.

At times, it felt like standing at the side of the stage at Woodstock witnessing some of the greats before they made their break through and make no doubt about it, Robert Jon and the Wreck are on the cusp of greatness.

It’s perhaps testament to their quality that keyboardist, Steve Maggiora, has just returned to the band for his first show this evening after a stint with Toto and his return brought a tear to the eye of Burrison.

Talking of musicianship, step forward Henry James on guitar. A real guitar hero of the old school whether cranking out a delicious Funky riff or delivering some searing slide or making his guitar scream and wail, this guy has the chops and then some. If his name is not up there with some of the greats sometime soon, then there really is no justice in the world.

Robert Jon & the Wreck were the perfect start to the weekend. It was energetic, emotional and inspiring, everything you need to forget the woes of the working week. It won’t be long before they step out of the clubs and into theatres, arenas and beyond. Catch them while you can.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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