Estrin’s offbeat, yet razor-sharp lyrical visions backed by a visceral, rock-infused guitar punch. Hard-charging Chicago blues, frisky West Coast jump and jaunty retro-rock make way for a haunting slow blues or two, only to rev back into rollicking action. Highlights Estrin’s wry, cutting vocals and amazing harmonica chops, plus Kid Andersen’s killer fretwork and a rock solid rhythm section. An amazing blues harmonica player, soulful vocalist and brilliant, original songwriter,"--SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Rick Estrin: Harmonica and Vocals. Chris “Kid” Andersen: Guitar and Background Vocals, Organ on “A Ton Of Money” and “Earthquake.” Lorenzo Farrell: Bass. J...
Rick Estrin: Harmonica and Vocals. Chris “Kid” Andersen: Guitar and Background Vocals, Organ on “A Ton Of Money” and “Earthquake.” Lorenzo Farrell: Bass. J. Hansen: Drums, Percussion and Background Vocals, Lead vocal on “I’m Takin’ Out My In-Laws.”
with Bob Welsh: Piano and Organ (except as noted).
Produced by Rick Estrin and Kid Andersen. Recorded and mixed at Greaseland, San Jose, CA. Recorded by Scot Brenton and Kid Andersen. Mixed by Kid Andersen. Recording assistants: Hans Bosse, Don Yonder and Peter Brown. Mastered by Dan Stout and Bruce Iglauer at Colossal Mastering, Chicago, IL. Photos by Kent Lacin. Packaging design by Kevin Niemiec. Alligator logo by Michael Trossman.
Rick Estrin thanks: Joe Filisko; Hohner Inc.; Chuck Gurney at Fat Bottom Mics; Hemrajani Brothers Tailors; Little Charlie Baty; Dennis Gruenling; David Barrett; Jerry Portnoy; Skip Simmons Amp Repair; Dave Fleming and The Palms Playhouse; John Chan at Chan’s; Steven Suen at Biscuits and Blues, and Rick Booth, Jake Lankheit, Michelle and everyone at Intrepid Artists. Thanks also to the Alligator Records crew: Marc Lipkin, Chris Levick, Tim Kolleth, Bob DePugh, Kerry Peace, Josh Lindner, Mark Steffen, Matt LaFollette, Lynn Coleman, Kevin Niemiec, Bill Giardini, Bill Wokersin, Eli Martinez, Luisa Rosales, Rosaly Huynh and Bruce Iglauer. Special thanks to blues societies everywhere, The Blues Foundation and to all the folks around the world who keep the blues rollin’ on. Kid Andersen thanks: My family; Butch Cousins; June Core; Andy Santana; Eric Malling; Jostein Forsberg and Ed Murphy of the Notodden Blues Festival; The Almighty Force and everybody coming through Greaseland. Lorenzo Farrell thanks: Bev and David Farrell.
Rick Estrin uses Harp King Amplfiers, Custom Marine Band Harmonicas by Joe Filisko and Hohner Chromatic Harmonicas Customized by Steve Malerbi. Kid Andersen uses Red Plate Amplifiers and Throbak pickups and pedals. Lorenzo Farrell uses Gallien-Krueger Amplifiers.
For thirty years, Rick Estrin was the voice and face of one of the country’s best-loved blues and jump bands, Little Charlie & The Nightcats. His huge harp sound, streetwise vocals, razor-sharp lyrics and hipster persona were as much the focus of the band as Little Charlie Baty’s hard-swinging and unpredictable guitar. In fact, Rick was so much the central figure of the band, most newcomers assumed that he was “Charlie.”
Now, with Little Charlie’s retirement from touring, Rick has truly stepped up to become “the man.” With support from the ever-inventive and swinging Nightcats rhythm section of Lorenzo Farrell and J. Hansen, and a new young recruit—Norway’s greatest contribution to American blues, guitar wildman Kid Andersen—Rick has taken the band in a fresh direction, rocking harder and more intensely than ever, but never straying far from the blues.
At the core of everything are Rick’s sly, incisive and often hilariously twisted original songs. They are tales inspired by his teenage and young adult years, hanging with the musicians, lowlifes, pimps and hustlers of San Francisco’s tough Fillmore District and Hunters Point neighborhoods and on Chicago’s South and West Sides. The songs range from rollicking rock ‘n’ roll to subtle and haunting slow blues, all delivered in his patented wry and worldly-wise voice. And along with his vocals, Rick’s harmonica is front and center, proving to the world once and for all that he is one of today’s truly gifted harp players, thoroughly rooted in the blues tradition, but bringing his own sound and vision to the instrument. As Muddy Waters so perfectly expressed it, “You play like a man, boy!”
–Bruce Iglauer, President and founder, Alligator Records