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We had the pleasure of interviewing Ricky Byrd over Zoom video!
On September 25, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (2015 inductee with Joan Jett and The Blackhearts) and guitarist/singer-songwriter Ricky Byrd presents Sobering Times (Kayos Records).
Sobering Times is an honest and intimate reflection of recovery delivered through his signature brand of Rock ‘N’ Roll. As Goldmine Magazine states “…The Faces and The Rolling Stones with a dash of Otis…It rocks like a b*tch. His vocals are the best of his career…early indications make it seem likely that this will be his career statement.”
Following the path he carved with his 2017 album Clean Getaway, Sobering Times (produced by Ricky Byrd and Bob Stander) continues his mission to deliver the message of hope to those recovering from addiction. He expresses the roller coaster of emotions and every day trials of recovery, from hitting rock bottom, to the gratitude of surviving and thriving in a sober life.
On Sobering Times, Byrd is joined by an all-star cast of musicians: Bob Stander (bass guitar, percussion), Jeff Kazee of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (keyboards/ accordion/background vocals), Steve Holley (of Wings / Ian Hunter / Joe Cocker, contributed drums to most of the album), Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel, drums), Rich Pagano (The Fab Faux, session drummer), Thommy Price (Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Mink DeVille, drums) and Christine “The Beehive Queen” Ohlman (vocalist, Saturday Night Live band).
Additionally, he collaborated with Richie Supa (“I Come Back Stronger”) and Willie Nile, who duets with Byrd on “Recover Me”, in addition to Emily Duff, who co-wrote “Ain’t Gonna Live Like That.” Fittingly, he also recorded a cover of Merle Haggard’s “The Bottle Let Me Down”.
Byrd chose the Sobering Times release date of September 25 as it’s also the 33rd anniversary of the day he started his sober journey. Having lived through the disease of addiction himself, Byrd has made it his mission to help others as a recovery coach and drug/alcohol counselor, who visits schools, rehab facilities, and detention and detox centers to perform, talk, and lead recovery music groups. In fact, he gave away almost 2500 copies of Clean Getaway at these facilities, so clients could take the message of recovery home with them.
He dedicates Sobering Times to all of those who struggle with addiction, as well as the recovery warriors who help those who are struggling, those that support a clean and sober lifestyle, and of course, those that still love loud and proud Rock ‘N’ Roll.
“As far as third acts go, I couldn’t be more grateful for mine,” says Byrd. “I get to use the undeniable power of R’n’R to spread the recovery message to those that are struggling….pretty… pretty… pretty good.”
“I Wanna Sing About How Lucky I Am
You’re Looking At One Grateful Man
I Should Be Long Gone
Yet Here I Stand
Hear My Song”
- Quittin’ Time (Again)
- Hear My Song
- I Come Back Stronger
- Starlit Night
- Recover Me (feat. Willie Nile)
- Ain’t Gonna Live Like That
- Pour Me
- The Bottle Let Me Down
- Life Is Good
- Just Like You
Although best known for his time with The Blackhearts, Byrd has also recorded and played with Roger Daltrey, and toured with Ian Hunter and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, respectively. He is also proud to have shared stages with such music royalty as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Alice Cooper, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt, Smokey Robinson, and Mavis Staples, among others.
PHOTO CREDITS: Frankie Byrd
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