Reckless Johnny Wales
"If Climate Change Don't Change Your Mind"
I have few heroes in this business we call Show....Reckless Johnny Wales is in the top one....
— Phil Kaufman, Road Mangler Deluxe
"The life of Reckless Johnny Wales is the stuff of legend, and has been documented time
and time again, so there is little I can add to it. What supports the man and his beliefs is
Red, White, and Reckless, the recent release from Reckless Johnny Wales.
Rather than taking his words from today’s headlines, Reckless Johnny Wales talks back to the
talking heads with opening tune '(Won’t You) Drive Up to the Country (with Me)' asking ‘now do you find it kind of hard to keep a smile on your face?’. The tune puts politics into a simple request to go for a drive, matching the tone to its audio mates on Red, White, and Reckless. While Johnny
can get as deep as any other musician with a guitar, he realizes that figuring out his message is
not as important as coming up with a plan. To fulfill that goal, Reckless Johnny Wales
takes aim, fires, and hits his mark saluting the flag with pride, reminding of our intentions
as he lists the obstacles with 'America, You’re Beautiful'. A slide guitar begins the groove
for 'Always Was, Always Will' when Reckless Johnny Wales ascends the podium and
targets gun control while he issues a warning as the beat stomps towards the barricades for 'Everybody Get Real' while he is the three chords and the truth version of a man of science in
'If Climate Change Don’t Change Your Mind'. Stepping to Latin rhythms for the Blue Jazz
of 'Desperate' Red, White and Reckless strikes a somber note(s) for
'They’re Dying to Come Home' and struts in a Rock’n’Roll backbeat for
'We’re the Boomers'. Rosemary Fossee duets on the noir cabaret of 'Am I a Fool' while
Reckless Johnny Wales stands alone behind the claim ‘I’m the reckless one,
I am the carefree prodigal son’ as a dry, dusty desert symphony
backs his commentary in 'Not About Nice'."
— Danny McCloskey, The Alternate Root Magazine
“Reckless focuses wit and vocal charm through a sharp political lens to effectively speak out
against a climate of human rights where the eternal promise of justice and freedom,
forever shining from Miss Liberty's beacon, is being relentlessly threatened.” — David M. Ross
“A lot of dark in here, but it's dark that had to be done, and it's worth listening to, again and again.
And then there's the light, which I love! And ‘Not About Nice’ is very nice.
‘America You're Beautiful’ is brilliant, heck, there's a half dozen on here that I need to hear again, now. Anyway, I think there's a lot in this album that had to be said,
and I'm glad Reckless Johnny said it.” — Michael Kosser
Red, White & Reckless Track Listing
(Won’t You) Drive Up To The Country (With Me) is a fine Jim Kweskin Jug Band style ditty, and a great choice
for the lead off track, making sure we’re happily along for the ride. It’s a sweet invitation that would be
hard to refuse, especially since Reckless is bringing the snacks!
Reckless has a way with lyrics that lets him deliver a heavy message without bludgeoning us over the head with it. If Climate Change Don’t Change Your Mind is a perfect example of this kind of song...smart, matter of fact
and he gets straight to the point, in his usual catchy way!
We’re The Boomers is a wry ode to Reckless’ generation, as he looks at the legacy
(“we left a mess and now we’re done”) and gets ready for the handoff to the next generation.
“The Boomers lost their innocence in Vietnam” and proceeded to pollute,
exploit and not quite save the world, as planned.
Everybody Get Real is a battle cry with a driving rhythm. “There’s no reality, realiTV, there’s no reality,
only what you see”. It’s time to pay attention and do something, says Reckless.
In this flamenco tinged number, Reckless becomes a shape shifter, spinning and twisting through time.
If History took a good long look at itself, it would indeed have to say it’s Not About Nice,
and maybe changing the future won’t always be either.
Am I A Fool is a sweet old fashioned love song, with Reckless trading lines with the lovely voice of
Rosemary Fossee. It sounds like an instant black and white movie classic,
complete with dancers and cigarette smoke.
Blazing like ZZ Top, Always Was, Always Will is an angry lament for a problematic relationship between this country and its guns, because “In America, freedom is tragic...life in America is heaven in hell.”
Desperate is a song of the imprisoned refugees at our borders. For them, “the American dream became a nightmare along the way.” It has a latin flair that pays tribute to the cultures of the people who are suffering.
“How did the home of the brave become the land of fear?” It’s a very good question.
Yes, that’s right, Reckless got A Letter From JC and he is not amused by the things people are doing
in his and his father’s name. All we have to do is be our best and go in peace, he says,
and maybe we have a shot at something better.
A veteran himself, Reckless knows as well as anyone the sad futility of endless war,
where “the dogs of war still fight and bite and bark.” They’re Dying To Come Home is an anti war song and a call to reason and empathy. “So unselfishly, they preserve that irony that everything they fight for they will never get to see.” The arrangement is a slow march, with the solo trumpet that echoes a somber Taps.
America You’re Beautiful. There’s still plenty of hope, and in this upbeat tune,
Reckless gives us the many reasons why. Listen to the man: love is all we need, indeed.