Lifer Review: Desert Star Weekly

Desert Star Weekly

Desert Hot Springs, CA

June 12, 2013

Artist: Ricky Byrd

Title: Lifer (Kayos Records)

You might like if you enjoy: Humble Pie, Mott The Hoople, The Rolling Stones

Tell me more: There is a rollicking retro spirit across Ricky Byrd’s “Lifer,” an album that celebrates the spirit (and frequently sound) of ’70s rock legends including The Who, Mott The Hoople and Humble Pie. Byrd, whose straightforward power chords helped define “I Love Rock & Roll” as a founding member in Joan Jett and The Blackhearts. Listening to the infectious first song on the disc, “Rock ‘N’ Roll Boys” immediately transported me back to Humble Pie’s rocking “30 Days in the Hole” song, and other songs on the 11-song disc likewise capture the spirit of that early 1970s period where British blues and boogie rockers were all the rage. Other cool songs on Byrd’s musical adventure include the Stones-flavored “Dream Big” and rowdy “Let’s Get Gone.”

Lifer Review:Rock and Rap Confidential

Lifer, Ricky Byrd (KAYOS)—Brilliant Blackheart, the guitar voice that blew up the set in response to Joan Jett’s vocal, turns in his first solo record. What was he waiting for? A set of songs good enough to make it worthwhile, and he found them. They add up to a cycle of songs about New York rock band life from the ‘70s to now, from the risky “Let’s Get Gone” to the now-I-get-it “Married Man.” It’s also a paean to the heyday of glam, when Byrd’s sensibility was formed at Max’s Kansas City and Bowery dives long before CBGB’s.  At his core, he’s still the same guy but now he knows a lot of secrets. But you gotta pay your dues…which is why, I suppose, “Turnstile ‘01” ends the album with a confessional tale told on a slowed down subway car.

Lee Ballinger

Associate Editor

Rock & Rap Confidential

RRC, edited by Dave Marsh, is now in its 17th year of covering ALL kinds of music. Thanks!


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