The Night Eagle Cafe
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200 State Street Binghamton, NY (607) 217-7334

Littel Charlie and the Nightcats


 "Powerful...outrageous...wonderful....Baty's immediately recognizable guitar style and Estrin's uniquely twisted and humorous lyrical vision [make] Little Charlie and the Nightcats one of the most successful proponents of the blues/swing /rock/jazz synthesis so popular today." --Living Blues "Rollicking, super-cool, jazzy and hip...satirical, sharp lyrics and killer guitar and harp solos. It just doesn't get any better then this." --Blues Revue Sacramento-based blues, swing and jump masters Little Charlie & The Nightcats have much in common with their feline counterparts. They take great (musical) leaps and always land on their feet, they're constantly on the prowl (gigging all over the world), and, with all of the various styles of music they play, they seem to have many lives. Their new CD, NINE LIVES, is the ninth album of their remarkable career. As on their previous recordings, they combine unsurpassed musicianship and inventive lyrical vision with their deep understanding of blues and jazz traditions to produce music that is both technically brilliant and soulfully streetwise. "Endlessly impressive," raves the Associated Press. "Marvelously entertaining and brilliantly played," agrees the San Francisco Examiner. For Estrin, songwriting is an important art form. "I like songs that tell stories," he says, "songs that are well-crafted and meaningful." He cites Sonny Boy Williamson II, Willie Dixon, Percy Mayfield, Baby Boy Warren and Leiber and Stoller as his main songwriting influences. As a harp player, Estrin has few peers. "Rick Estrin sings and writes songs like the brightest wise guy in all bluesland and blows harmonica as if he learned at the knee of Little Walter," raved Down Beat. "Estrin is a heralded genius of the harmonica, as well as a foremost songwriter," said The San Francisco Bay Guardian. Matching Estrin's prowess lick for lick are Baty's wild, seemingly impossible guitar excursions. From Charlie Christian-like jazz to Chicago blues to West Coast swing and rockabilly, Baty has all the genres mastered. He seamlessly blends various elements into a guitar sound that is his alone. "Little Charlie Baty plays as much guitar as Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy put together," raved The Village Voice. "He is one of the most fluent guitarists working in any genre." In 1986 the band sent an unsolicited tape to Alligator Records. Alligator president Bruce Iglauer was blown away. He flew to Sacramento to see the band perform and was sold. Their debut album, ALL THE WAY CRAZY, was released in 1987 to overwhelming success. Almost immediately they went from playing small Sacramento blues clubs to performing concerts and festivals around the country and around the world. After six more studio albums an a greatest hits disc, guitarists, harp players, songwriters, fans and critics remain overwhelmed. "Can anyone name a better guitarist than Little Charlie?" asked Blues Revue. "Who can out-tough Rick Estrin? Little Charlie and the Nightcats play some of the deepest blues out there." "We're good at putting on a show," boasts Estrin. "People don't go out to see people who look like them. 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 us." The Chicago Reader described their live show as "party exuberance in the context of superb musicianship. Baty sometimes sounds as if he's growing musically right in front of your eyes."