“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.” – Blues Revue
According to The San Francisco Chronicle, “is an amazing harmonica player, a soulful lead vocalist and a brilliant songwriter.” The award-winning musician, another critic said, “sounds like Little Walter playing and singing Leiber and Stoller.” Along with The Nightcats- jaw-dropping guitarist Chris “Kid” Andersen, singing drummer (who plays standing up) J. Hansen and dynamic multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Farrell (electric and acoustic bass, organ and piano)-Rick Estrin serves up fresh and modern original blues injected with a solid dose of gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll. Since the 2009 release of their celebrated Alligator Records debut, Twisted, the band has toured non-stop, honing their creative synergy to a razor’s edge. Night after night, the band blazes their own innovative musical path while still remaining true to the blues. The results of all of this natural chemistry can be heard on their irresistible new album, One Wrong Turn.
Kid Andersen (lead guitar)
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.
J. Hansen (drums, vocals)
J. Hansen is the only singing, songwriting, standing drummer in the blues. Born in Joliet, Illinois, he began drumming on pots, pans and coffee cans at a very early age. He moved to California in 1984 and began studying the drums seriously, playing his first gig at age 13. Hansen began his musical career playing traditional jazz with multi-instrumentalist Clint Baker, which eventually led to performing and recording with legendary New Orleans banjo player Narvin Kimball (Preservation Hall Jazz Band). While studying music in college, Hansen began working in local Bay Area blues bands. He started his own R&B/funk band, Verso, which featured his singing and songwriting. He later toured internationally and recorded with the popular San Francisco swing band Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums before joining the Nightcats in 2002. He released a solo album of original material, Give The Drummer Some, in 2009. In 2011 Hansen began playing his drums standing up.
Lorenzo Farrell (organ, acoustic and electric bass)
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.