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'Sobering Times': Ex-Joan Jett guitarist Ricky Byrd to release new studio album next month

Kayos Records

Former Joan Jett & the Blackhearts guitarist Ricky Byrd has unveiled full details about his long-in-the-works third solo album, Sobering Times, which will get its official release on September 25.

The album is a follow-up to Byrd’s 2017 studio effort, Clean Getaway, and similarly is a collection of tunes that focus on offering hope to people recovering from addiction.

Sobering Times arrives on the 33rd anniversary of the day Byrd started his own journey to sobriety. The 12-track collection features contributions from veteran musicians including 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.

The album also features a duet with veteran singer/songwriter Willie Nile, as well as a collaboration with Richie Supa, who co-wrote several well-known Aerosmith tunes. In addition, and following the record’s theme, Sobering Times features a cover of the Merle Haggard classic “The Bottle Let Me Down.”

“Loud and proud rockers, beautiful acoustics and all points in between,” Byrd says of the album. “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.”

You can pre-order Sobering Times now at on CD and digitially. Pre-ordered copies of the album will be shipped on or about September 1 in advance of the official release date. Signed CDs also are available.

Byrd was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 as a member of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.

Here’s the Sobering Times track list:

“Quittin’ Time (Again)”
“Hear My Song”
“I Come Back Stronger”
“Starlit Night”
“Recover Me” — featuring Willie Nile
“Ain’t Gonna Live Like That”
“Pour Me”
“The Bottle Let Me Down”
“Life Is Good”
“Just Like You”

By Matt Friedlander
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