Alvin “Youngblood” Hart

Official Website: ayhmusic.com

TOUR DATES

The cosmic American love child of Howlin Wolf and Link Wray! Known as a “musician’s musician,” Alvin Youngblood Hart’s praises have been sung by everyone from Bob Dylan to Brit guitar gods Eric Clapton & Mick Taylor.

Since the release of his 1996 debut recording, the all-acoustic BIG MAMA’S DOOR, Hart has relayed his eclectic musical message around the world. A devout follower of the “no barriers” approach carved out by veteran performers like Gatemouth Brown and the late/great Doug Sahm, Hart aims to delight the masses and points to challenge the so-called blues purists.

BIG MAMA’S DOOR was reviewed with blessings by Playboy with the prospect that Hart “had the power to bring the blues to Generation X” also stating that “Charley Patton would approve of Hart’s version of Pony Blues, and the cover of Gallows Pole is the coolest since Led Zeppelin’s.”

Based on the strength of his record debut and the allure of his live shows, Hart received five nominations at the 1997 W.C. Handy Blues Awards. He was nominated for Best New Artist, Best Acoustic Artist, and Best Traditional Blues Artist and his album (BIG MAMA’S DOOR) was nominated for both Acoustic Album of the Year and Traditional Album of the Year. He received the award for Best New Artist. Hart also received two Living Blues Awards that same year. The anticipated sophomore release of TERRITORY in 1998 gave a rousing tribute to all forms of American music and received the Downbeat Magazine Critics’ Poll Award for Best Blues Album (though TERRITORY is not a Blues album).

The summer of 1999 found Hart teaming up with celebrated producer Jim Dickinson to begin recording START WITH THE SOUL, a record hailed as a new-breed Southern Rock classic and one that piloted Hart’s return to the “sacred garage.” START WITH THE SOUL was chosen by the New York Times as one of the top 10 releases of 2000, as well as the BBC’s Blues Record of the Year.

In 2001 Hart shared Living Blues Magazine’s best guitarist honors with fellow road dog Big Jack Johnson.

The 2003 release of DOWN IN THE ALLEY garnered a Grammy nomination. Despite critics’ recurring attempts to suggest Hart was “best enjoyed when performing solo,” Hart continued to diversify his audience by extensively touring as a member of Job Cain, a hard-rocking side project he assembled with guitarist Audley Freed (Cry of Love/Black Crowes) and Nashville musician Robert Kearns (The Bottle Rockets/Lynyrd Skynyrd). In August of 2003, Hart was invited to fill in for Taj Mahal for five nights in Tokyo as a member of Kip Hanrahan’s Conjure, the world’s longest running jazz poetry ensemble. Assembled to lend musical support to the words of Bay Area poet Ishmael Reed, Conjure featured the talents of tenor sax giant David Murray and original Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli. Hart remains a member of the revolving cast and recorded with the group on BAD MOUTH.

In 2004, Hart received a Grammy for his philanthropic contribution to the compilation BEAUTIFUL DREAMER: THE SONGS OF STEPHEN FOSTER. All of the proceeds from the recording benefited American Roots Publishing, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving American regional culture through literature and art.

In the summer of 2005, fortified in the wake of much recognition and determined to defy any stereotypes attached to his artistry, Hart released the self-produced (and personal favorite) MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER a rock guitar free-for-all, paying homage to fallen and missing rockers like Phil Lynott and Sly Stone. Hart’s songwriting, singing and electric guitar prowess are all championed on this project and showcase the versatility he continuously strives to offer his fans and profession.

In 2006, Hart collaborated with several Memphis area musicians in the Craig Brewer cult hit film “Black Snake Moan” by both serving as a guitar tutor to the film’s leading actor, Samuel L. Jackson, and recording a duet with the film’s female lead, Christina Ricci, for the films riveting soundtrack. In the fall of 2006, Hart was invited to hit the road for two months with Rock-n-Roll legend Bo Diddley for what turned out to be Diddley’s final coast to coast tour.

In April of 2007, Hart’s extended and varied interests led him to influence his local educational arena by participating on a tour of Mississippi high schools as a member of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

Hart then joined fellow notable string playing colleagues Corey Harris, Don Vappie, Keb Mo and Guy Davis and contributed to the uniquely progressive 2007 OtisTaylor record RECAPTURING THE BANJO.

Later that year, Hart was called upon to contribute his doyen knowledge of blues music to the Denzel Washington-co produced and directed film “The Great Debaters.” Based on a true story about the black historical Wiley College debate team, the release of the film coincided with a nationally stepped-up effort by urban debate leagues to get hundreds of inner-city and financially challenged schools to establish debate programs.

As an avid roots music performer and connoisseur, not only did Hart fit the bill to record predominately on the films dynamic soundtrack, Hart also proved a natural onscreen fit for the role of a juke joint musician. Songs for the GREAT DEBATERS SOUNDTRACK were comprised of remakes of traditional blues and gospel songs from the 1920s and 1930s and were hand-picked by Denzel Washington from over 1000 selections.

A personal career highlight occurred in the summer of 2008 when Hart met the late Irish guitar legend Gary Moore. Moore invited Hart, a lifelong Thin Lizzy fan, onstage to jam with himself and original Thin Lizzy drummer, Brian Downey. In the Spring of 2009 Moore requested Hart’s band as the opening act on a tour of Germany. Moore was seen offstage most every night with friends, cheering Hart’s band along during their set.

In 2010 Hart joined forces with friends Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars, Black Crowes) and Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers, Tri-State Coalition) to form “The South Memphis String Band”. The fun-loving and regaling trio was quickly dubbed by the media as an “acoustic super group”. Recorded in a borrowed radio station studio while the band was on its first road trip, their debut record HOME SWEET HOME was received with rabid enthusiasm. The 2011 Blues Music Awards (The Blues Foundation) nominated the record for “Best Acoustic Album”. The group released a second album “Old Times There” in the spring of 2012. A third album is scheduled for release sometime in 2015.

The singles “Watching Brian Jones” and “Helluva Way [For a Man to Make a Livin]” were released on a 45 with Big Legal Mess records in November of 2014. A full LP is scheduled to follow.

When not touring solo or plugged in with his revered rock trio “Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory,” Hart enjoys researching, collecting, repairing and modifying obscure musical equipment.

 

Eden Brent

Official Website: edenbrent.com

Nicknamed “Little Boogaloo” by her Mississippi mentor Boogaloo Ames, Eden Brent is much more than her signature boogie-woogie piano and juke-joint blues holler. She is a celebrated songwriter and dynamic performer, with numerous nominations and awards including eleven Blues Music Award nominations since 2009 and three BMA trophies. Her most recent Yellow Dog Records album, Jigsaw Heart was nominated for BMA Acoustic Album of the Year, continuing a streak of nominations for her last three albums.

Born in the heart of the Mississippi Delta in Greenville, to a family of riverboat captains and guitar pickers, Eden’s story could’ve been written by Tennessee Williams or any number of Mississippi’s colorful authors. The Greenville bridge is named for her grandfather Jesse, the Waterways Journal “Riverman of the Century”. Her father, Captain Howard, famous for his Hank Williams renditions and grand story-telling, is a bona-fide living “River Legend”, and her mother Carole was born a sharecropper but became a big band singer and fashion model, working at Chicago’s Chez Paris in the 1950’s.

A life-long piano enthusiast, Eden was surrounded by music and learned her first notes at age three. “Grandma could read and play beautifully,” Eden explains, “She taught me Middle C and my first simple tunes. I had an ear for music and was pecking out my brother’s recital piece before I was old enough to go to school.” Piano lessons were part of her education from primary school through graduation from the University of North Texas and beyond. “I always loved to play, but I hated to read and I really hated practice until I started hanging around Boogaloo. He put the music right in my hands.” She continues, “Daddy jokes he could’ve saved a lot of money on my college tuition had he introduced me to Boogaloo a few years earlier.”  The duo traveled and worked together for 16 years until Boogaloo’s death in 2002.

Eden is featured in three documentary films: Boogaloo & Eden: Sustaining the Sound; Forty Days in the Delta; 180 Degrees: Changing Lives in the Mississippi Delta, has appeared in print publications like USA Today and Garden & Gun, has been highlighted on national radio broadcasts including NPR Weekend Edition, House of Blues Radio Hour, and American Routes, and her music continues to delight both critics and live audiences alike.

Since launching her career, Eden travels the United States and abroad performing in festivals like Notodden, the Chicago Blues Festival, Cognac’s Blues Passions, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. She’s a frequent piano bar host aboard the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise and  has been a special guest aboard the American Queen Steamboat, a performance that celebrated her Mississippi River heritage.

She has released four solo albums: Something Cool 2003; Mississippi Number One 2008; Ain’t Got No Troubles 2010; and Jigsaw Heart 2014, and is currently on the Yellow Dog Records label. In addition to her four solo albums, Eden recorded The Brent Sisters Party Dress with sisters Jessica and Bronwynne, also songwriters. Released in 2012, the album is a collection of songs written by their late mother, Carole Brent.

Eden lives in her hometown with her husband Bob Dowell, a musician and arranger from the U.K., and their three very naughty dogs.

James “Blood” Ulmer

Website

TOUR DATES

James Blood Ulmer is among the most distinctive and influential electric guitarists to emerge in the past four decades. Over time, Blood’s reputation has morphed from that of an avant–garde jazz visionary out of the Ornette Coleman school to elder statesman of the African–American musical vernacular encom – passing jazz, blues, funk, and whatever lies beyond.

Forging an unyielding synthesis of musical styles, vision and virtuosity, Ulmer has left an indelible mark on those keen ears who’ve dared to follow him to that intangible place where the fiercest, most holy music occurs.

Whether it’s art imitating life or life imitating art, the trials of James Blood Ulmer’s career have only made his art that much more potent. It appears he’s capable of channeling life’s experiences through his soul in order to lay it bare in the music. If he were never to record again, his reputation as an American music pioneer is already cemented in stone. One would think, however, that there’s a great deal more to come, because Blood lives the music, is the music and he’ll grow old bringing the music. And as always, that devout audience with big ears and keen instincts will be taking it all in.

Jason Ricci

Official Website: mooncat.org

TOUR DATES

Jason Ricci is one of the most popular harmonica players on the planet today.  His music is listed in almost every top ten play-lists on college, blues and Internet radio. Jason is a ‘players player.’  His biggest fans are other musicians, from all genres. Jason Ricci is the spot light and on the lips of critics, artists and fans everywhere.  Through two plus decades of endless touring, TV appearances, recording and social media, Jason’s style of playing is so revolutionary and influential that there exists an entire new generation of players imitating his music, clothes, gear and even stage presence.  Jason has been an almost constant force for decades in the studio, festivals, club dates and press.  Through performing, song writing, teaching, harmonica prowess and activist in the fields of mental health and addiction, it is not an overstatement that this young man is currently changing the world his music and education.  His over blowing harmonica technics are second to none and his song writing, while based in deep blues, is contemporary, relevant and boundless.
With his personal demons well in check and a killer new band, The Bad Kind, Jason is back with a vengeance and taking no prisoners, from low down in the alley to out of this world!  The new recording, well that’s Jason, the moon cat.
RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
*Featured TV performer at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band induction in 2015
*Featured performer on Johnny Winter’s Grammy winning Cd ‘Step Back’ (2014)
*Multiple Blues Music Award Nominations: 2009-2017.
*Blues Blast Award Winner, 2010.
ARTIST COLLABORATIONS:
Jason has worked and/or recorded with Little Charlie Baty, Anson Funderburgh, Junior KimbroghRL Burnside, Nick Curran, Walter Trout, Ana Popovic, Cedric Burnside, Joe Louis Walker, Sue Foley and many others.

 

JJ Appleton & Jason Ricci

Official Website: jjappleton.com

TOUR DATES

The joining of forces between award winning blues harp master Jason Ricci and singer/songwriter/guitarist JJ Appleton is one of the most unexpected and exciting blues music releases of 2015.

Containing original songs that nod to Delta blues and roots history, the album stakes a claim in modern Americana authenticity to bring raw, powerful emotions and world class musicianship in an acoustic format. Ricci’s fiery harp performances blend perfectly with Appleton’s deep, wry, truthful songs and fierce resonator guitar skills.  The recording’s intensity is pushed even higher with upright bassists Tim Lefebvre (Tedeschi Trucks) and Neal Heidler (Eddie Harris) bringing fat-bottom grooves to the albums already supple tracks.

Appleton’s skill as a producer captures the charged atmosphere of the sessions, and with a “Dirty Memory” tours coming 2015/2016 fans can expect to see that energy and passion up close and personal.

Throughout Appleton’s varied musical career as a touring/recording artist and producer he has worked an eclectic roster including Keb ‘Mo, Kesha, Jamie Cullum, Ashford & Simpson, Maya Angelou and Leslie West.  JJ was signed to Universal/UK as a rock artist and has toured extensively throughout the US and UK. Appleton says, “My first concert was Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and soon after I witnessed the brilliant harp player Sredni Vollmer perform with Rick Danko. Those performances left a permanent mark that one day I would find a way to make an album and perform with a blues harp master.”

For years, Appleton has been a go to New York City session man, producer, bandleader and songwriter alongside members of Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks, Black Crowes, Lenny Kravitz and John Scofield bands. Now he steps back into the role of frontman alongside Ricci in this unique musical partnership.

With “Dirty Memory” Ricci and Appleton are keeping alive an American musical tradition, while bringing a 21st century sound and viewpoint to songs that speak to the heart and soul of Americana Blues.

Joe Krown

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: joekrown.com

Joe Krown is a resident and is based out of the city of New Orleans. He is a New Orleans styled piano and Hammond B-3 player. He has been nominated twice and won a New Orleans Big Easy Award in the Blues category in April 2001. His blues trio, Sansone, Krown & Fohl won a 2004 Big Easy Award. Joe’s third compact disc, Buckle Up, was picked #4 CD, “Best of 2000CDs” in the Times Picayune, and “Best CDs of 2000” in OffBeat magazine. Joe was also selected “Best Keyboardist, Editor’s Choice” at CitySearch.com for New Orleans. Joe’s fourth CD, Funkyard was picked #4 CD in Gambit Magazine and #15 in the Times Picayune “Best CD’s of 2002” and “Critic’s Choice Best of 2002” in Offbeat Magazine. Joe’s CD, Livin’ Large (2005) clocked in at #11 in overall sales for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2005. His trio with Walter Wolfman Washington & Russell Batiste Jr. won a 2009 Offbeat Award for “Best R&B/Funk CD” (Live at the Maple Leaf) and a 2009 Big Easy Award in the “Best Rhythm & Blues Band” category.

He is currently touring all over the U.S. and the world as the organ/piano player for the award winning Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band.

Available for limited dates only.

Nakia

Official Website: nakia.net

Before he was on “The Voice,” Nakia was a Blues Grifter. Named for the age-old concept of stealing from the greats, the Blues Grifters formed in 2010. The band quickly became a hit on the club circuit in Austin performing at the legendary “Home of the Blues,” Antone’s Nightclub, and the South Austin hot spot, C-Boy’s Heart & Soul and began recording its first album. A video of Nakia’s full-throated, soulful performances found its way to television producer Mark Burnett who insisted on recruiting Nakia for a new show. Reluctant but hopeful, Nakia put the band, and the album on pause to go to Hollywood.

On the first season of “The Voice,” Nakia immediately became a fan favorite before finishing as a semifinalist. More than 14 million viewers tuned in each week to witness Nakia wowing the show’s four celebrity coaches with his electric stage presence and using his gritty voice to make Top 40 songs his own.

Using the momentum from the whirlwind of reality TV, Nakia focused on writing songs for a new EP and subsequent tour, still leaving the band on hold. Nakia knew it was time to call up the Blues Grifters again when he was invited to appear on the ALL ATX compilation album in 2016. Together, they transformed The Allman Brothers Band’s “Whipping Post” from a prog-rocking guitar dirge into a lowdown gritty sax-infused soul jam that culminates in a double-time frenzy. Renewed from that studio experience, Nakia was ready to finish the album he started almost a decade ago with his long-time collaborator and fellow Grifter, Mac McNabb.

“I started the band as a way for me to cut loose and get lost in the blues, so I wanted this album to be a homage to the great blues artists who inspired me,” Nakia recalls, “but ‘The Voice’ happened and I couldn’t reach the finish line on the record. Once Mac and I got back together and listened to the tapes, we committed to finish the album. We cut these songs using old ribbon mics, analog gear and tape machines. Many of the songs recorded live, all in the room together. Real live blues — the way it was meant to be.”

After all this time, “Blues Grifter,” is finished featuring songs by blues and soul greats Otis Rush, William Bell, Johnnie Taylor, Howlin’ Wolf, Luther “Snakeboy” Johnson and more. Nakia will celebrate the release with a free in-store performance at Waterloo Records Friday, August followed by album release parties in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio with more cities to be announced. Nakia will donate a portion of all “Blues Grifter” physical album proceeds to The Clifford Antone Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit in Austin dedicated to preserving blues music culture and community by caring for our elders and investing in our youth. Nakia is a two-time Black Fret artist grant award recipient.

Nathan and The Zydeco Cha Chas

Official Website: www.zydecochachas.com

Nathan formed The Cha-Chas back in 1985, and since then has brought his unique take on this
regional South Louisiana music to all corners of the globe. From Lincoln Center in New York to
The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Nathan’s music has crossed all barriers to speak to the very
heart of his audience.

Inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and honored in 2015 with the Zydeco
Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The Cha-Chas have been voted the top
Festival Band in the country according to the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and
Tourism and USA Today and have won the coveted Big Easy award for Best Zydeco Band for
several years running.

Nathan and his band have been featured in the New York Times, Essence and People magazines,
and on the cover of USA Today. They’ve appeared in films like In The Electric Mist as well as the
soundtrack sharing credits with Michael Doucet and Buddy Guy and The Kingdom of Zydeco,
and worked with artists as diverse as Cyndi Lauper on the album Creole Bred.

Keepers of the Zydeco Flame, they are committed to keeping their Creole heritage alive.

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats

Official Website: rickestrin.com

Every night that award-winning harmonica player, singer and songwriter Rick Estrin and his cohorts The Nightcats perform live— wherever in the world that may be—a crowd of dancing, shouting, laughing and cheering people will be enjoying some of the best live music they’ve ever heard. On one of these nights —October 5, 2013, at San Francisco’s Biscuits And Blues—the proceedings were captured live. The result is Rick Estrin & The Nightcats’ irresistible new release, You Asked For It…Live!. The band was, as they always are, on fire. The hometown, sell-out crowd was ready to explode, and the front man was celebrating his birthday. According to Estrin, “Cutting loose and stretching out in an intimate, nightclub-type setting is the natural environment for the Nightcats to kick maximum ass. The fact that it was my birthday, in the town where I was born and raised, only added more fuel to the fire.”

You Asked For It…Live! has the immediacy, feel and fun of a true Rick Estrin & The Nightcats performance. “No matter how much fun we have and how relaxed we can be in the studio, there’s still nothing like being in front of, and interacting with, our live audience,” Estrin says. The album features some of Rick Estrin’s best-loved and most-requested songs, dating back to his days as lead singer, songwriter and harmonica player of Little Charlie & The Nightcats (featuring Little Charlie Baty on guitar). The album is an up-to-the-minute and totally accessible slice of original, wry and witty blues with a simmering, funky rock edge fueled by Andersen’s blazing genre-hopping guitar and Farrell’s and Hansen’s dazzling keyboard and rhythm work. 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.

 

“Infectious, captivating, powerful blues….Intense Chicago-style harp playing, witty songs and tough-as-nails grooves” –Living Blues

 

Rick Estrin, who holds the 2013 Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist– Harmonica, is, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, “an amazing harmonica player, a soulful lead vocalist and a brilliant songwriter.” He ranks among the very best harp players, singers and songwriters in the blues world. 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 unforgettable original songs. 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.”

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats— jaw-dropping guitarist Chris “Kid” Andersen, singing drummer (who plays standing up) J. Hansen and dynamic multiinstrumentalist Lorenzo Farrell (electric and acoustic bass, organ and Moog synthesizer)—serve up fresh and modern original blues injected with a solid dose of gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll and Estrin’s trademark philosophical wiseguy humor. Since the 2009 release of their celebrated Alligator Records debut Twisted and the 2012 follow up One Wrong Turn, the band has toured non-stop, sharpening their musical telepathy to a razor’s edge.

Estrin won the 1994 Blues Music Award for Song Of The Year for his composition “My Next Ex-Wife” and has written songs for a growing legion of other musicians. Three of his songs found their way onto Grammy-nominated albums: “Don’t Put Your Hands On Me” (on Koko Taylor’s Force Of Nature), “I’m Just Lucky That Way” (on Robert Cray’s Shame + A Sin), and “Homely Girl” (on John Hammond’s Trouble No More). Estrin cites Sonny Boy Williamson II, Percy Mayfield and Detroit bluesman Baby Boy Warren as his major songwriting influences. Besides Estrin’s streetwise songwriting and musical skills, he is among the most entertaining and colorful showmen around. His quick wit (as heard to great effect during the introductions to “My Next Ex-Wife” and “That’s Big”) and his signature look—coifed hair, pencil-thin mustache and sharply pressed, custom made suits—add even more color to his performances. “People don’t go out to see people who look like themselves,” says Estrin. “They want to see something special. I was schooled in this business to be a showman, and that’s what you get when you come to see me perform.”

 

“These are serious musicians out to have a hotter than hot good time. It’s tough to stay in your seat when Estrin and his musical cohorts get cooking.” –Chicago Sun-Times

 

Estrin was born in San Francisco, California in 1949, and grew up following his own path. He discovered an entirely new world when, as a 10-year-old boy, he made his way to the tough Market Street area and befriended many of the neighborhood characters. He had another revelation when his older sister gave him a copy of Ray Charles’ The Genius Sings The Blues when he was 12. Albums from Jimmy Reed, Champion Jack Dupree, Mose Allison, Nina Simone and others soon followed. By the time he was a teenager, Estrin had completely identified with the urban, African-American culture surrounding him. He got his first harmonica at age 15, and by age 18 was proficient enough to begin sitting in at black clubs around the city. He first jammed with blues master Lowell Fulson and almost immediately was hired to open five shows for R&B giant Z.Z. Hill. He worked five nights a week for almost a year with guitar legend Travis Phillips in a band fronted by famed pimp/bluesman Fillmore Slim (who was the centerpiece of the acclaimed Hughes Brothers documentary American Pimp). Slim introduced Estrin to Rodger Collins (“She’s Looking Good,” “Foxy Girls In Oakland”), the man who would become Rick’s first real musical mentor, and who schooled Rick on the finer points of songwriting and show business. Estrin moved to Chicago when he was 19 and worked with South Side bluesmen Johnny Young, Eddie Taylor, Sam Lay and Johnny Littlejohn before meeting and jamming with Muddy Waters, who told Rick, “You outta sight, boy! You got that sound, boy! You play like a man, boy!” In fact, Muddy wanted Estrin to go on the road with him, but due to nothing more than a missed phone call, it never happened. Rick eventually moved back to the Bay Area, met Charlie Baty and formed Little Charlie & The Nightcats.

For more than 30 years and nine albums, Rick fronted the band, featuring 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 from touring 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.

 

“Fabulous, remarkable original material” –Billboard

 

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 with Twisted in 2009 and One Wrong Turn in 2012. Blues Revue raved, “Rick Estrin & The Nightcats are one of modern blues’ most versatile and original bands.”

As a testament to their talent, audiences at their performances are often peppered with musicians wanting to glean a lick from these dynamic musical masters. Fans ask to go home with a CD that reflects what they just witnessed. Now, with You Asked For It…Live!, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats can satisfy their fans’ demands. Estrin recalls, “After shows, people are always asking, ’Are any of these CDs live? Which of your CDs is most like what you did tonight?’ Now, I can tell them, ‘This one right here. Thank you. We’ll be happy to sign it.’”

THE NIGHTCATS:

Kid Andersen (guitar, background vocals)
Chris “Kid” Andersen was born in Telemark, Norway in 1980. A blues fan since childhood, Andersen fell in love with the music of Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Junior Watson, and the Kings (B.B., Albert and Freddie). By the time he was 18, he was backing all the American blues stars who came through Norway, including Homesick James, Nappy Brown and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. He moved to California at age 21, eventually earning himself a green card as an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability.” Andersen released four solo albums before joining blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite’s band in 2004, a gig that lasted until he joined Rick Estrin & The Nightcats. Andersen runs his own recording studio, where he has produced and mixed recordings by artists including Elvin Bishop, John Nemeth and Finis Tasby, as well as all three Rick Estrin & The Nightcats CDs.

Lorenzo Farrell (upright and electric bass, piano, organ, synthesizer)
Lorenzo Farrell was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, where he started playing piano at age five. During his high school years in California, he discovered jazz and made the switch to upright acoustic bass. After high school, Farrell took several years off from his music career to earn a degree in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley, and study religion in Delhi, India. Since returning to the San Francisco Bay Area, he has been a highly sought-after multi-instrumentalist, having returned to piano and mastered organ in recent years. A Nightcat since 2003, Lorenzo has also had the opportunity to perform and/or record with many other artists, including Collective Amnesia, the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Noora Noor, Terry Hanck, and Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums.

Sisters Of Slide
Rory Block & Cindy Cashdollar

 

 

Rory Block

Official Website: roryblock.com

Internationally acclaimed blues artist Rory Block has committed her life and her career to preserving the Delta blues tradition and bringing it to life for 21st century audiences around the world. A traditionalist and an innovator at the same time, she wields a fiery and haunting guitar and vocal style that redefines the boundaries of acoustic blues and folk. She has won 5 Blues Music Awards, been heralded as “a living landmark” by the Berkeley Express, “a national treasure” by Guitar Extra, and “one of the greatest living acoustic blues artists” by Blues Revue. The New York Times declared: “Her playing is perfect, her singing otherworldly as she wrestles with ghosts, shadows and legends” and the Blues Foundation stated: “Today she is widely regarded as the top female interpreter and authority on traditional country blues worldwide.”

Cindy Cashdollar

Official Website: cindycashdollar.com

Dobro, steel guitar and lap steel player Cindy Cashdollar’s career has taken some surprising twists and turns that have led her to work with many leading artists in various genres; including Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Dave Alvin, Rod Stewart, Albert Lee, Asleep At The Wheel, Marcia Ball, Jorma Kaukonen, Leon Redbone, BeauSoleil, Daniel Lanois, Redd Volkaert, & Peter Rowan. Cindy’s unerring ability to perfectly complement a song or step out with a tasteful, imaginative, and exciting solo – and to do it in so many musical genres – has made her one of the most in-demand musicians on the American roots music scene.