Little Charlie's raucous sound will make you wonder why they call it the blues. 

What Blues?

Dripping with wiseguy boogie, blues and jump, Little Charlie & the Nightcats have rocked barrooms and festival stages across the country and around the world with their raucous roots music.

Co-founder of the quartet "Little" Charlie Baty has been likened to a nerdy-looking uncle who happens to play guitar like Charlie Christian channeled through Eric Clapton. His partner in musical crime, harp player Rick Estrin, also displays monster instrumental talents and wry songwriting abilities. Playing swing to rockabilly to deep Chicago Blues, the twosome with bassist Ronnie James Weber and drummer June Core continues to catch the ear of fans and critics with twisted songs of love and lust.

Baty and Estrin met in the early '70s. Baty, a student at the University of California at Berkeley, played harmonica. But Estrin already blew harp like a seasoned pro, so Baty took up the guitar. They moved to Sacramento, added a drummer and bass player, and the band was born.

Through the years, Baty and Estrin stuck together and the group paid its dues. In the mid-'80s, a growing interest in the blues across the country was boosting band careers, so Little Charlie sent Alligator Record head Bruce Iglauer a demo tape. Iglauer liked the tape and went to California to hear the band. He quickly signed the group and released its first recording, "All The Way Crazy," in 1987.

The group's unique take on blues caught on, and more than a decade later, the Nightcats continue to tour the blues world to critical acclaim. The group's most recent recorded efforts find its music remains both original and deeply embedded in blues as tight and tough as midnight love. Live, Little Charlie and the Nightcats ain't nothing but a party.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

  • Re: Kim Gray Wants to Hit the Pause Button on the Monument Avenue Commission

    • This news story is disheartening, and incredibly disappointing. I am only glad that Mayor Stoney…

    • on August 18, 2017
  • Re: Kim Gray Wants to Hit the Pause Button on the Monument Avenue Commission

    • Now there's a true leader and voice of reason. Can't get Stoney out of office…

    • on August 18, 2017
  • Re: Kim Gray Wants to Hit the Pause Button on the Monument Avenue Commission

    • Now how bout some equal courage from our current mayor and Governor.

    • on August 17, 2017
  • More »
  • Latest in Miscellany

    More by Ames Arnold

    • Musical Revolution

      Musical Revolution

      Latino-folk singer brings her guitar and her politics to town.
      • Nov 3, 2004
    • Texassance Man

      Texassance Man

      From off-Broadway acting to traveling with the circus, Joe Ely's got stuff to sing about.
      • Oct 13, 2004
    • Bluegrass Homecoming

      Bluegrass Homecoming

      Colorado music with Virginia roots.
      • Sep 22, 2004
    • More »

    Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation