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.


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