Little Charlie & The Nightcats
The Blues Is Alright
by Don Brown Sr.
The Blues Internet
Las Vegas Jazz n' Blues
Las Vegas Blues Site
It's been twenty five years of playing that have molded Charlie Baty and Rick Estrin together in the blues. The Nightcats recently pulled into Boulder Station bringing with them their multi-styled mix of left coast blues. Mostly playing to West Coast audiences in the beginning, they now tour throughout the US and Europe playing a few hundred shows a year.
When Little Charlie hit the stage with upright bass player Ronnie James Weber and drummer June Core, they launch into an instrumental to show their chops. By the time Estrin takes the stage playing his superb harp and singing "I Can't Keep Up", you know that he and the band most certainly can.
Listening to the Nightcats you know that they have the blues. Even when things are going good it seems that Rick Estrin is just looking for trouble like in "My Next Ex-Wife". Rick writes most of the songs and is known for his witty and satirical lyrics as evidenced by "I Don't Drink Much" and "New Old Lady".
Not to be outdone by Estrin, Little Charlie plays leads consisting of not only blues, but jazz, swing, and rockabilly licks. His talent really relies on the ability to shine and not overshadow the rest of the band. His solos are a perfect fit.
In addition to playing all the favorites, they performed "Man That's Big" for the first time. Watching Little Charlie and The Nightcats play always gives one a great feeling. They inspire their fans to yell ("Dump That Chump!"), sing, and dance. By the end of the night the audience is left tired but happy. Lending truth to Little Milton's mantra that "The Blues Is Alright"!
Photography by R.J. Bianchino copyright © 2001-2003 Moondog Productions
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