Rick Estrin and the Nightcats

For more than 30 years, the synergy between guitarist "Little" Charlie Baty and singer/harmonica player Rick Estrin has made Little Charlie and the Nightcats one of the best (and most entertaining) jump-blues bands around. With Baty's "soft retirement" due to health issues, the high-haired, Lothario-mustached, sharkskin-suited Estrin is taking the reins and moving things in a slightly different direction. While still rooted in the blues, their debut CD Twisted (Alligator) has a harder, more flashy flavor in a mixture of feet-moving dance numbers, slow blues and plenty of Estrin's familiar tales with humorous lyrics. Estrin's slightly seedy, even-spoken vocals and Sonny Boy Williamson/Little Walter harp style playing still sound great, and the rest of these 'Cats — drummer J. Hansen, bassist Lorenzo Farrell and new guitar picker/vocalist Chris "Kid" Andersen — are tighter than Kenny Rogers's face. A show blueshounds shouldn't miss.
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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero