The LEGEND OF RECKLESS JOHNNY WALES
It began in Dorchester, under the shadow of Boston’s high buildings, the Savin Hill subway station and only corners away from where New Kidz On The Block faced puberty. At ten years old his heroes were Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. But the folk/rock melodies and protest lyrics of the sixties were the hammer that forged and shaped his musical pathway. It was the famous Club 47 in Harvard Square where icons like Joan Baez and Dylan would appear that he first performed at the open mic nights and began to learn his craft. "It was the end of Jack Kerouac and the beginning of Ken Kesey,” say RJW. “I was in college, playing guitar around Boston and hitchhiking to Greenwich village.”
After two years in Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, the draft interrupted and Reckless Johnny Wales served a three-year stint in the Navy during the Viet Nam era. After serving his time, the twenty-three year old sold his motorcycle and bought a plane ticket to LA. Hitchhiking to San Francisco Reckless Johnny found his home and for ten years performed, wrote songs, and found himself as the co-owner of Free Spirits Studio.
Eventually the winds of change swallowed Reckless and spit him out on Nashville’s Music Row in 1980. Tired of the road, our hero found himself working as an independent promoter and eventually getting hired by Warner Bros. Nashville where he rose through the ranks to Senior VP of Promotions working with Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams, Jr., Randy Travis, Faith Hill, Dwight Yoakam, k.d. Lange and many others. Reckless was the recipient of Billboard Magazine's "National Promotion Man of the Year" four out of five years in a row. Growing restless, Reckless then developed the first ever international department in the history of Nashville's major label music industry. His mission statement was "Global Peace through Country Music." Traveling the world, searching for talents, and bringing Nashville act to the far corners of the earth, was his everyday experience and was not wasted on him.
In the mid-90's, Reckless was asked by the company if he would assume the role of Senior Vice President of International Marketing and General Manager, of Warner Bros. Records, Nashville. He graciously accepted and continued in that capacity until AOL merged with Warner Bros. in 2001. He was made “an offer he could not refuse” and a ticket back to writing and performing his own music once again.
After five critically acclaimed albums, Reckless Johnny Wales is showing his softer side with a collection of love songs.
“All that remains at the end of the day is the love that we’ve made... only love will never grow old.” RJW
He’s a baby boomer ready to hand over the keys to the kids, because he knows it’s their turn to drive. He’s got nothing to prove, and no need to hold back now.
The result is a refreshing mix of honesty, activism, love, wit, and wonder, along with some hard truths. Here we find Reckless looking back, pondering the legacy he wants to leave as an artist and as a man.
End It With a Love Song is Reckless Johnny Wales’ sixth album, and while his previous collections have all been eclectic, this one focuses on one very important subject: Love.
While a song or two might bring a tear to your eye, he’ll have you smiling again in no time. Reckless can be sentimental and sometimes wistful, but he’s never sappy.
Backed by his all-star Trans Genre Orchestra, Reckless sings about romantic love, comfortable love, making love, universal love, and tainted love.
“Another Sunday Morning” tells a bittersweet story of domestic comfort weighted by the awareness of the reality waiting outside and of those who have not, with lyrics that could have been written by Mr. Prine himself.
The ironically mellow sounding “Bitch” belies the bitterness of someone who’s clearly had enough, and finally tells it like it is.
Reckless and his merry band take us on a stroll through Dr. John’s New Orleans with “It’s a Beautiful Night,” a happy-go-lucky reminder that everything can be ok, even heartbreak, if we stay in the moment and focus on the positive.
The dreamy waltz of “Only Love Will Never Grow Old” reassures us that love can be timeless and everlasting.
His songs and his voice are both tender and tough. Listen close...you can almost feel him beaming at you, with love.