Guitarist/Singer-Songwriter Ricky Byrd released his solo debut album, Lifer, on February 5, 2013 (Kayos Records). Recorded in Nashville and New York City, Executive Produced by Ray Kennedy (five-time Grammy Award Winner, Steve Earle, Ray Davies, Sheryl Crow) and co-produced by Byrd and Bob Stander, it features Byrd’s knack for classic hooks and jagged riffs, which gloriously sets the table for cut after meaningful cut.
The former longtime Blackhearts guitar slinger (1981 – 1991) whose monstrous power chords helped define Joan Jett & The Blackhearts “I Love Rock & Roll”, is a restless New York City poet who carries a torch for the town he loves, along with enough handbags and glad rags to make you feel like it’s 1974 all over again.
“My main goal with this record was to try and craft the songs with the same heart and soul that filled the music I listened to as a kid in my parents Bronx apartment — the music that even at that young age, made the hair go up on my arms,” states Ricky.
“Though best known for his work with Joan Jett, Ricky Byrd also created an important and memorable body of work as a composer whose songs have been recorded by no less than 45 other artists and have been featured in film and television. Besides Joan Jett, he has also worked with such musical luminaries as Roger Daltrey, Ian Hunter and Richie Supa.” -Shirley Pena, NY Rock Music Examiner
The Lifer album kicks off with “Rock ‘n’ Roll Boys,” an over-the-shoulder tribute to the old glitter glam haunt Max’s, where Byrd got his first real taste of the other side of life. “Foolish Kind” in particular is a time-machine all its own, replete with sunny organ fills and Byrd’s whiskey-soaked guitars weaving rich tapestries together as one as they do throughout the entire album. The soulful plea “Wide Open,” the tongue in cheek “Married Man” and the driving “Harlem Rose” all stay true to Byrd’s vision of making the music that first captivated him, but it’s the closer, “Turnstile ‘01” that may give the listener the deepest pause. It’s Byrd coming to grips with post-9/11 New York City, his chiming valentine to the Big Apple, a poignant, plaintive downtown tribute that rings things out exquisitely.
“From his roll into the parking lot in his gorgeous black muscle car, we knew that Ricky Byrd was going to ROCK.I was honored to host Ricky Byrd, solo-acoustic August 7 at Route 7 Music in Brookfield CT. I knew this cat could play guitar, but was blown away by his vocal ability. Combine Otis Redding, Rod Stewart, Sam Cooke and Al Green with Ricky’s unbelievable delivery and this voice will move every bone in your body while taking up residency in your heart. Our performance room is small, yet Ricky performed in a big way. The relationship between his voice and his guitar is an intimate one. His voice lays right over the top in the driving rock and roll and melodic ballads. Don’t let the hard edge rock exterior fool you, this guy writes beautiful chord progressions that stick.
If you are looking for a great event/house concert/performance I recommend you call Ricky Byrd. Not only did he please the audience with his music, he made everyone feel like his best friend. Personable, funny and SO EASY to work with, Ricky took us on a musical journey that mad us smile, made us think and made us feel. Thank you Ricky for a great evening. I was always a fan but now I feel like a friend.” – Lucinda Rowe
Vocal Instructor, Route 7 Music, Brookfield Connecticut
Upcoming Show Information:
Ricky Byrd – LIVE in Montauk Harbor
315 Fairview Avenue (Private Residence)
Montauk Harbor, Long Island
Friday August 22, 2014
Suggested Donation: $20
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