Title - 'Sobering Times'
Artist - Ricky Byrd
For those not in the know, former Joan Jett & the Blackhearts guitarist Ricky Byrd will be releasing his long-anticipated third solo album, Sobering Times this coming September 29th, 2020 via Kayos Records.
In much the same vein, this follow-up to Byrd’s 2017 album, Clean Getaway, is a brand new collection of 12 tracks that both reflect on, and offer hope to, people recovering from their own personal addictions.
Being released on the 33rd anniversary of the day Byrd started his very own journey to sobriety, the album features contributions from veteran musicians such as longtime Blackhearts drummer Thommy Price, ex-Billy Joel drummer Liberty DeVitto, former Wings drummer Steve Holley, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes keyboardist Jeff Kazee, and longtime Saturday Night Live band singer Christine “The Beehive Queen” Ohlman.
1. 'Quittin’ Time (Again)'
3. 'Hear My Song'
5. 'I Come Back Stronger'
6. 'Starlit Night'
7. 'Recover Me' (featuring Willie Nile)
8. 'Ain’t Gonna Live Like That'
9. 'Pour Me'
10. 'The Bottle Let Me Down'
11. 'Life Is Good'
12. 'Just Like You'
Opening with the melodic, mid-tempo 'Quittin’ Time (Again),' he backs that up seamlessly with 'Together,' 'Hear My Song,' and 'Tired,' with the steeled, standing tall ambiance of the Springsteen-esque 'I Come Back Stronger' (a collaboration with Richie Supa, who co-wrote several well-known Aerosmith tunes),up next.
On an album dominated by confessions (Ricky used for 18 years, on a daily basis), that include, but are not limited to, blackouts, memory loss, a smorgasbord of regrets, and endless bouts of self-pity and lonesome days lost, a lot of those flashbacks are covered in tracks such as 'Starlit Night,' 'Recover Me' (which features veteran singer/songwriter Willie Nile), and one of my own personal favorites, the personal deep dive, and co-write with Emily Duff) of 'Ain’t Gonna Live Like That.'
This distinctively heartfelt new album rounds out with the reflectively connected duo of 'Pour Me' and his cover of the Merle Haggard classic 'The Bottle Let Me Down,' the vibrantly uplifting 'Life Is Good,' before closing on the earnest yearning of 'Just Like You.'
"It gives me great pleasure to shout at the top of my lungs (inside) that my next CD, Sobering Times, is complete. Took bloody long enough," Byrd laughs.
"This new one follows the same theme as the previous CD Clean Getaway, with songs that speak to addiction, recovery, hope and a change for the better."
"Loud and proud rockers, beautiful acoustics and all points in between. I have a fantastic batch of new tunes that I've been playing in my recovery music groups at treatment facilities the past year or so, and it's now time to pass them on to the rest of you."
"The players are top notch as usual including Steve Holley, Liberty DeVitto, Rich Pagano and my old bandmate with the Blackhearts Thommy Price on drums," Byrd continues.
"Bob Stander is on bass and Jeff Kazee is on the keys. If that weren’t enough, we have my soul sister Christine (The Beehive Queen) Ohlman, who along with B3 Kazee did a mighty fine job of singing backgrounds with me."
You can order Sobering Times now at www.RickyByrd.com on CD and digitally (Signed CDs will also be available).
Byrd was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 as a member of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.
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