RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Ricky Byrd – Clean Getaway
Recovery Troubadour Records


Rating: A

Ricky Byrd is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his time spent as the lead guitarist in the Blackhearts….Yeah those Blackhearts as in Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Ricky is the “I Love Rock N Roll” guitar player.  Does it get anymore iconic than that?  In addition to Joan, the Byrd-man has also had a huge career with cats like Ian Hunter, Southside Johnny and Roger Daltrey. He is also a successful solo artist. 

Did I mention that 30 years ago none of that almost mattered?

That’s because Ricky had a drug problem.

Instead of burning out or fading away, however, Byrd did something about it. Now 30 years clean and sober the talented musician is doing all he can with his talents to make a difference in the world.    

Byrd began this journey by founding the non-profit Clean Getaway 501(c)(3). He spreads the word, telling his story to others who battle addiction.

Over the last five years Byrd has led recovery music groups in treatment and detox programs across the country.  Every time he plays this music to patients, they ask where they can get a recording of his inspiring songs.

The result of these inquires see Byrd releasing a collection of 12 heartfelt songs that take the listener through both addiction and recovery.  The music is groovy while the lyrics are equally emotional, inspiring and heartwarming.  

Through his music Ricky tells a tale that needs to be told. Byrd is no newcomer to speaking his mind. The New Yorker has no issue with opening his mouth and saying what needs to be said.  His message is very important and he is changing lives through his music. 

As inspiring as the story is, the music is what we are here to review. 

The album starts out with a classic cover of the Paul Revere and the Raiders song “Kicks.”  The song sets the tone for Byrd’s self-penned tunes.  Ricky collaborated with some pretty famous writers including Richie Supa and Mark Hudson.  Byrd also had some of his famous friends join him on the album. They include Bobby Whitlock (keyboards, Derek and The Dominos), Steve Holley (drums - Wings), Bob Stander (bass), Andy Burton (keyboards, Little Steven and The Disciples Of Soul), Jeff Kazee (keyboards, Southside Johnny), John Isley and Chris Anderson of the Asbury Jukes (horns), Christine Ohlman (SNL band) and Marge Raymond, Mark Hudson, and Sara Devine on vocals. 

The result is a killer album that can best be described as ‘real.’ 

“Better Days” may be the best of the bunch as this song is infectious musically and hard hitting lyrically.  “Clean Getaway” is a bluesy number that says it all and will be a favorite when performed live. 

“Broken is a Place” is one of those songs that grabs the listener by the heart and refuses to let go.  Anyone who has battled the demons of drugs and booze will shed a tear while listening to this tune.

At the end of the day each of the 12 songs on Clean Getaway are full of emotion, personality and attitude.  The message of these 12 songs comes across loud and clear.  

The album will be available via CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, and all other online stores, with a portion of the sales going to the Clean Getaway non-profit 501(c)(3). 

We’ll give Byrd the last word on the album…

“An important part of this journey is giving back and spreading the message. I do my best talking through music…as a recovery troubadour.”

This is an important man making important music for important people. 

Track Listing
1.) Kicks
2.) Better Days
3.) Kid (A Cautionary Tale)
4.) Clean Getaway
5.) I Prefer Wakin’ Up…To Comin’ To
6.) Lighthouse
7.) High Wire
8.) Paranoid
9.) Sweet Surrender
10.) Addicts Prayer
11.) I’m Done
12.) Broken Is A Place

By Jeb “One Day at a Time” Wright