Continues His Journey As A Recovery Troubadour With The September 25 Release Of New Album
New York, NY (August 24, 2020)--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). Pre-orders are currently available at www.rickybyrd.com.
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
Recover Me (feat. Willie Nile)
Ain’t Gonna Live Like That
10.) The Bottle Let Me Down
11.) Life Is Good
12.) 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.
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Ricky Byrd -
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, guitarist /singer- songwriter Ricky Byrd (inducted in 2015 with Joan Jett and The Blackhearts), has had a career in music spanning over 40 years.
Although best known for his time spent 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 has also been blessed to have had the chance to, at one time or another, share the stage with music royalty including Paul McCartney, Ringo, Alice Cooper, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt, Joe Walsh, Mavis Staples, Dion, Brian Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Jimmy Page, Graham Nash, and Elvis Costello…to name just a few.
Grateful for all of his many musical achievements, Ricky is fond of saying that one of the greatest gifts he’s been given happened on Sept. 25, 1987 when he started his journey in recovery. Simply put, “it was time.” He’s been clean and sober ever since, doing whatever he can to help others recover. It’s his passion and what he’s most proud of.
“There's this dark hallway filled with people caught between denial and surrender,” he says. “I've been blessed to have this next life and because of that gift, I feel I'm responsible to turn around and wave at those people in that dark place and just go, `hey man, come on, follow me.’ ”
The starting point of Ricky combining his music with recovery began in 2012, when he co-wrote a song with his friend, Richie Supa. The two wound up writing what is now considered a recovery classic: “Broken Is A Place,” which speaks to the inherent hole in the soul of those who continue to suffer under the great weight of addiction.
It hit a nerve.
Back in New York City, he recorded a demo of the song, put it up on social media, and the response was overwhelming. That’s when he realized how strong the combination of music and recovery could be. He wrote a second song, and then a third, and he didn’t stop until the seeds of his 2017 Clean Getaway album were planted.
Inspired to present these recovery-based songs on a different stage, Ricky made calls to treatment facilities, offering to come in with his acoustic guitar and perform them to the clients. He did, and the response was so powerful that he’s been doing it ever since, on the road as a Recovery Troubadour. He’d play his acoustic guitar, sing those songs, talk to people, listen to people, help people. In doing so, he was also helping himself. He kept writing, traveling, and visiting treatment facilities, schools, and juvenile detention centers.
“It was quite the education for me,” Ricky admits. “I found that there was a real connection…a tangible something I could do to help…a reason my checkered past in rock'n'roll just might bring about awareness, maybe prevention, maybe even lessen the stigma of addiction.”
Ricky Byrd has since given away thousands of copies of Clean Getaway at his recovery music groups across the country. The CD has garnered great reviews across-the-board and he’s currently working on a follow-up filled with songs of addiction, resurrection and hope. Taking it a step further, he has earned his CASAC T (Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor) credentials and CARC (Certified Addiction Recovery Coach) credentials.
As his card says, “Have Recovery Will Travel.”
Ricky Byrd -
A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Ricky Byrd is now a Recovery Troubadour and Keynote Speaker using music, lyrics and his experience, strength, and hope to inspire change to those struggling with addiction.
Ricky Byrd is first and foremost - a man living in long-term recovery. With over 30 years of sobriety, Byrd has channeled his experiences to assist those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Earning his CASAC T (Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor) credentials and CARC (Certified Addiction Recovery Coach) credentials, Byrd leads recovery music groups at detox and treatment centers, as well as serving as keynote speaker at various events nationally. Additionally, Byrd has organized / participated in concert events, music outreach sessions, and prevention programs.
This Rock and Roll Hall Of Famer (inducted as former member and the lead guitarist of Joan Jett and The Blackhearts) combines his love for music with his passion and mission to help carry the torch of change surrounding the stigma of drug and alcohol use. Working to break down the barriers and spread the message of hope, education, awareness and addiction resources to his audiences, Byrd uses the healing powers of music as a touchstone.
As a songwriter, taking up the mantle of “Recovery Troubadour,” Byrd recognized the power of the word and music and combines both into a message of recovery, motivating those early in recovery or still struggling, along with their family members.
Ricky is comfortable in large and small settings, whether it be a keynote address or smaller, more interactive group settings. His presentations focus on the benefit of a sober lifestyle, and takes pride in also educating those individuals in our communities that are somehow unaware and uninformed of the deadly drug and alcohol pandemic we are facing in this country. Whatever the venue, Ricky, with acoustic guitar in hand, will incorporate recovery songs from his CDs Clean Getaway (2017) and Sobering Times (2020). The songs on these albums explore the physical, emotional, and mental journey of battling addiction, with an honest reflection on getting, and remaining, sober in daily life. His approach, using music therapy and the open discussion that follows, can lead broken souls to find that little bit of happiness – and encouragement they need to move forward.
In 2017, Ricky received the Drug Free Heroes Award, presented by Foundation For a Drug Free World. He has received other awards since, including the Faces and Voices 2019 Voice of Recovery Award, and the 2019 Italian American of Distinction Award, presented by Governor Cuomo, for his work in recovery. Ricky is proud to help others find a message and purpose to getting clean and sober.
In addition to Joan Jett and The Blackhearts from 1981-1992, Ricky has been blessed to share the stage with the likes of Roger Daltrey, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson, Steven Van Zandt, and Smokey Robinson, just to name a few.
COVER ART AND PHOTOS
RICKY BYRD ON FOX 5 "GOOD DAY NEW YORK"
December 10, 2020
"I Come Back Stronger"
Ricky Byrd Interview
Feature interview - 4/1/21
COVER feature interview with Ricky Byrd - Feb. 2021
Feature interview with Ricky Byrd - 12/11/20
Feature interview with Ricky Byrd - 11/13/20
"Sobering Times" Review - 10/14/20
"Sobering Times" Review - 10/4/20
Interview with Goldmine Podcast - 10/1/20
"Sobering Times" review - October 2020