Ex-Joan Jett guitarist Ricky Byrd says new recovery-themed solo album is “like a self-help book with a backbeat”

Credit: Frankie Byrd

Ex-Joan Jett and the Blackhearts guitarist Ricky Byrd recently released his second solo album, Clean Getaway. The 12-track collection is a concept record focusing on the struggles people go through who are trying to overcome addiction.

Byrd tells ABC Radio that he describes the album “as kind of like a self-help book with a backbeat.” He explains the record is geared toward “people that are struggling with addiction [who] may be caught in that hellish hallway between denial and surrender;…for people that are in recovery, so they could look back and see how far they’ve come; [and] for people that love rock ‘n’ roll.”

Ricky, who’s been clean and sober for about 30 years, says the songs on Clean Getaway were written to play for and inspire people he’s been visiting at rehab facilities and recovery groups over the years. “This is my way of combining what I love and what keeps me alive — recovery and rock ‘n’ roll,” Byrd maintains.

The album features tunes that Byrd wrote by himself and co-wrote with collaborators Richie Supa and Mark Hudson, and also includes a rocking cover of Paul Revere and the Raiders‘ 1966 hit “Kicks.” The original songs reflect many of Ricky’s favorite genres and artists, with tunes bearing the influence of Chuck Berry, Otis Redding, Albert King, Motown and folk-rock.

Byrd tapped the talents of a variety of notable musicians to contribute to the album, among them Derek and the Dominos keyboardist Bobby Whitlock, ex-Wings drummer Steve Holley, and several Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes members.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of the album will go toward Ricky’s Clean Getaway charity, which seeks to raise awareness about addiction and offer support to those in recovery. Visit CleanGetaway.nyc for more details.

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