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Ex-Joan Jett Guitarist Ricky Byrd Releases Debut Solo Album

Kayos RecordsRicky Byrd, who played lead guitar in Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for more than a decade, released his first solo album on Tuesday.  Lifer features 11 original songs written or co-written by Byrd that hearken back to the bands that inspired him as a young musician, including The Rolling Stones, The New York Dolls, The Faces and Mott the Hoople.

Byrd composed two of the tracks, "Things to Learn About Love" and "Ways of a Woman," with Southside Johnny Lyon, while frequent Aerosmith collaborator Richie Supa helped write three other songs --  "Let's Get Gone," "Dream Big" and "One Less Love."

"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," says Byrd in a statement, "the music that even at that young age, made the hair go up on my arms."

After his tenure with The Blackhearts, Byrd went on to tour with a variety of artists, including Roger Daltrey and Ian Hunter.  The guitarist also helped found the Rockers in Recovery organization, and performs regularly with a star-studded collective called NYC Hit Squad, which also features ex-Billy Joel drummer Liberty DeVitto, singer Christine Ohlman of Saturday Night Live's house band and several members of Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes.

Byrd and some of his NYC Hit Squad band mates will be playing as part of the Rockers in Recovery All Star Band at a February 15 benefit in Wallingford, Connecticut, for The Dry Dock organization, which provides a sober environment for people struggling with addiction.

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