Sacramento-based rocking blues masters Rick Estrin & The Nightcats will release their new Alligator CD, One Wrong Turn (AL 4950) on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. Harmonica icon/vocalist/songwriter Rick Estrin, along with The Nightcats — jaw-dropping guitarist Chris “Kid” Andersen, singing drummer (who plays standing up) J. Hansen and dynamic multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Farrell (electric and acoustic bass, organ and piano) — serve up fresh and modern original blues injected with a solid dose of gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll. Since the 2009 release of their celebrated Alligator Records debut, Twisted, the band has toured non-stop, honing their creative synergy to a razor’s edge. Night after night, the band blazes their own innovative musical path while still remaining true to the blues.
The results of all of this natural chemistry can be heard on One Wrong Turn, an up-to-the-minute and totally accessible slice of original blues with a simmering, funky rock edge. The album features 12 new songs, most written by Estrin, with all the band members also contributing originals. One listen makes it clear that this is a group comprised of four world-class musicians, who together form one of the tightest and most original bands in any genre.
In addition to his harmonica and vocal skills, Rick Estrin is a songwriter of unparalleled talent. Critics have compared his original songs to the work of Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, Willie Dixon and Leiber and Stoller. And his hipster, street-smart vocals are the perfect vehicle for driving those songs home. Blues Revue says, “Estrin has created some of the finest blues songs of any artist on the planet. His carefully wrought lyrics penetrate human weakness with the precision of a boxer, though more often than not, he chooses to leave you laughing after the blow’s been struck.”
For more than 30 years and nine albums, Estrin fronted one of Alligator’s most popular acts, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, featuring Little Charlie Baty’s one-of-a-kind guitar acrobatics. The band won international acclaim and toured the world repeatedly. They were nominated four times for the prestigious Blues Music Award for Band Of The Year. With Charlie’s retirement in 2008, Rick rededicated himself to his craft. Hansen and Farrell wanted to keep the band going. Estrin knew the only way to replace Baty’s crazed and unique guitar style was to find someone with an equally insane and individual approach, and he knew that would be a tall order to fill.
As luck would have it, Kid Andersen, who had been working with another harp legend, Charlie Musselwhite, became available. “Kid’s a fearless nut on the guitar,” says Estrin. “He’s really the only guy who could fit in with us.” With an unpredictable, no-holds-barred style that perfectly meshed with Estrin’s wildly imaginative original songs, the new band charged out of the gate in 2009 with Twisted. Living Blues said, “Outstanding…most definitely twisted — in the finest sense of the word.” Blues Revue declared, “Rick Estrin & The Nightcats are one of modern blues’ most versatile and original bands.”
Live, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats take their ever-growing legion of fans on a seriously fun and musically memorable twisted ride. They have electrified crowds across the U.S., and on hugely successful tours of South America, Turkey, and cities all over Europe. As a testament to their talent, the audiences at their performances are always peppered with musicians wanting to glean a lick from these musical masters. Now, with One Wrong Turn and continued non-stop touring, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats continue to reinvent, redefine and revolutionize modern blues.