Fireworks

ROBERT JON & THE WRECK, TROY REDFERN

Added by ant-rocks     September 30, 2021    
 
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If you're fan of lively Rock and Roll with a heavy Southern Blues and Soul influence, then do yourself a favour and check out the brilliant Robert Jon & The Wreck

ROBERT JON & THE WRECK, TROY REDFERN
Leeds Brudenell Venue – 19 September 2021

This was my first visit to this great, purpose-built venue in Leeds. Approximately two hundred fans (half capacity) ventured out in these new post-restriction times; hopefully, that was enough paying customers to cover the costs of both the venue and the band.

Opening act was Troy Redfern, who tonight appeared solo (with a backing tape). Redfern, dressed in black with his Rambler Signature hat and beard strikes a figure like a bad guy from a Spaghetti Western. Opening salvo of 'Sanctify', from his latest album 'The Fire Cosmic', and 'Falling Down' clearly exhibited why Redfern is dubbed as Britain's "King Of Slide Guitar". Another new song, 'Ghosts' was my personal favourite of this evening's set, whilst the first single, 'Waiting For Your Love' was an object lesson in playing heavy Blues. The six-song set came to a rapturing climax with Redfern's rendition of the Hendrix classic 'Voodoo Chile'.
As good as Redfern was this evening (and he was very good), I hope to get the opportunity to see him again in the future with a full band.

Setlist: Sanctify / Falling Down / Ghosts / Backdoor Hoodoo / Waiting For Your Love / Voodoo Chile

Tonight's headliners Robert Jon & The Wreck have been plying their brand of Southern Californian Blues, Soul and Rock for ten years, but it was last year's fantastic 'Last Light On The Highway' opus which first grabbed my attention and a lot of the UK's Blues audience. This tour was originally planned for 2020 to support that opus, but the pandemic prevented that from happening. In their downtime (this band loves to be on the road), they recorded a new album 'Shine A Light On Me Brother', although most of tonight's sixteen-song setlist came from the former aforementioned opus (albeit without my two favourite tracks 'Gold' and the title-track).

 

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The Wreck took to the stage first before being joined by singer/guitarist and frontman Robert Jon Burisson. The rhythm section of Warren Murrel (bass) and Andrew Espantman (drums) along with keyboard player Steve Maggiora were tight as a drum and supplied great backing vocals throughout; however, arguably the star of the show and sharing the limelight front and centre with Burrison was guitarist extraordinaire Henry James Schneekluth. The slender, afro-sporting, six-string slinger reeled off spectacular solo after solo for each song, all of which were a good two to three minutes longer in length than their studio counterparts. The sound and mix were both excellent throughout, as were the passionate gravelly vocals of Burrison. The band are a lot heavier live and not as polished (don't confuse the latter with ability, which they all have in spades).

There was a good, appreciative atmosphere from the crowd, albeit a little subdued; not sure if that was a Sunday night feeling or just the response of many of us returning to see live music (this was my first gig in over eighteen months). There were a few fans dancing down the front, a lot of us foot-tapping and I did not see anyone leave early, so I think I'm safe to say that all in attendance had a great time.

Highlights? Well, there were so many, but 'Everyday' with its loud piano solo, the soulful 'Oh Miss Carolina', the boogeying 'Blame It On The Whiskey', and the heavy rockin' Gospel Blues of 'Don't Let Me Go' all deserve a mention; as does 'Shine A Light On Me Brother' where you half expected Blues Brothers' Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi to take the stage. The main set came to a stunning conclusion with the epic 'Cold Night', RJ&TW's answer to Skynyrd's classic 'Free Bird'; if it had been any longer, I'm sure Schneekluth's fretboard would have self-combusted! The band left the stage momentarily to return for a one-song encore of 'Glory Bound'. Burrison bid his farewells and left the stage first, leaving the Wreck wrap up proceedings. Five minutes later the whole group were out to meet and greet the fans (at no extra cost).

If you're fan of lively Rock and Roll with a heavy Southern Blues and Soul influence, then do yourself a favour and check out the brilliant Robert Jon & The Wreck, you won't be disappointed.

Setlist: The Devil Is Your Only Friend / Do You Remember / Hey Hey Mama / Work It Out / Everyday / Oh Miss Carolina / Death Of Me / Blame It On The Whiskey / High Time / Tired Of Drinking Alone / Ain't No Young Love Song / Don't Let Me Go / Shine A Light On Me Brother / Old Friend / Cold Night

Encore: Glory Bound

 

Mark Donnelly

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