With his wily and unforgettable original songs and his hipster, street-smart vocals, no one on the blues scene writes or sings like Rick Estrin. No one looks like him either, as Estrin is always dressed to the nines, sporting his trademark pencil-line mustache and pompadour haircut.DownBeat says, “Rick sings and writes songs like the brightest wiseguy in all of bluesland and blows harmonica as if he learned at the knee of Little Walter.” Live, they are simply unbeatable, delivering a high-energy show capable of bringing any audience to its feet. Living Blues says they play “captivating, powerful blues and roots rock with a wickedly cool and otherworldly twist on tradition...intelligently conceived and executed...hugely entertaining.”
Rick Estrin & the Nightcats’ fourth Alligator album, "Groovin’ In Greaseland," features 13 original songs, and one listen makes it clear that this is one of the tightest and most original groups in any genre. Besides Estrin’s celebrated songwriting and musical skills, he and the band are among the most entertaining and colorful showmen around. Estrin’s flashing harmonica solos, quick wit and signature look and Andersen’s off-the-cuff guitar acrobatics add even more spontaneous fun to their live performances. “I was schooled in this business to be a showman," says Estrin "and that’s what you get when you come to see us perform. We know how to put on a show.”
Years of worldwide touring and a series of critically acclaimed recordings has earned Estrin five Blues Music Awards, including two nods for Song Of The Year (1994 and 2018), Best Instrumentalist - Harmonica (2013) andTraditional Blues Male Artist Of The Year (2018). The full band, Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, won the highly coveted2018 Band of the Year award. Additionally, Estrin has written songs for a number other musicians. Three of his songs found their way onto Grammy-nominated albums by Koko Taylor, Robert Cray and John Hammond. His work on the reeds is deep in the tradition of harmonica masters Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs, while at the same time pushing that tradition forward with his innovative songs. His sly and soulful vocals are the perfect vehicle for driving those songs home.
The Nightcats are: Kid Andersen, “a fearless nut on guitar”; Lorenzo Farrell on piano, organ & synthesizer; and Alex Petersen, who has played drums for just about every major blues & roots player on the planet. DownBeat calls them “marvelous and crowd-pleasing,” Billboard called them “fabulous, remarkable and original,” And Blues Revue says, “It just doesn’t get any better.”
Rick Estrin & the Nightcats continue to set the bar high, proving it night after night on stage somewhere around the country or around the world.