Ricky Byrd: Lifer

Memoirs of a Blackheart.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Shamelessly name-dropping Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Hunter S Thompson and 70s New York punk hangout Max’s Kansas City in the opening track of your new album is forgivable when you were as indisputably there as Joan Jett & The Blackhearts guitarist Ricky Byrd.

Less forgivable is the fact that Lifer is often so cheesy you’d swear you can hear Laughing Cowbells in the distance – the barroom boogie Let’s Get Gone has him ordering drinks in the most staged manner ever, Ways Of A Woman is a parody of soul, and Foolish Kind veers way too close to Rod Stewart for comfort.

The rest of the time, though, as he honky-tonks around in thrall to the Rolling Stones, this is the sound of a man still in love with his job after all these years.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.