"Hugely entertaining, intelligently conceived and executed roots rock with a wickedly cool and otherworldly twist on tradition. Estrin’s harp work is masterful." –Living Blues

Rick Estrin and the Nightcats Win 2021 Blues Music Award - Band of the Year


Rick Estrin and The Nightcats Facebook Feed

ICYMI - Rick Estrin & the Nightcats On Can't Stop The Blues

Derrick 'D'Mar' Martin On His Time With Little Richard

Little Richard and Derrick 'D' Mar Martin

Blues Music Magazine
May 2020
by Derrick 'D'Mar' Martin

Today, most blues fans know Derrick 'D'Mar' Martin as the acrobatic drummer with Rick Estrin and the Nightcats.  Others may remember him jumpin' the kit with the Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, and a handful might be familiar with his work with Chris Gill.  But I'm sure very, very few know that 'D'Mar' was Little Richard's drummer for 17 years beginning in 1995!

You can read Derrick's story HERE (opens .pdf file) or at BLUES MUSIC ONLINE.

America’s Greatest Musical Showmen: Rick Estrin & The Nightcats

Rick Estrin & the Nightcats are in Forbes!

by Margie Goldsmith
Forbes - Nov 2019

Singer/songwriter/harmonica player Rick Estrin, who has been called a combination of jive-talking carnival side-show hustler and world class musician is the most colorful and entertaining showman around.  Dressed in forties hipster-style sharkskin suits, white shoes, and hair in a pompadour, he and his band Rick Estrin & The Nightcats have just released their latest album, Contemporary. This studio album (their fourth) delivers twelve foot-stomping wise-cracking contemporary songs, a combination of rockabilly, jazz, blues, rock, and big band swing.

Rick Estrin and the Nightcats tour non-stop and receive standing ovations wherever they play. This Sunday, Nov. 24th they will be playing at NYC’s Iridium For the touring schedule, check here. I caught up with Rick Estrin in California the day before he and the band  flew to the East Coast for the tour.

Was harmonica your first instrument, and why did you chose it?

My first instrument was guitar, but my father died when I was 15, coinciding with a guy giving me a harmonica and telling me how to play it. I was heartbroken and angry and the harmonica gave me a way to express that. The sound of the harmonica is so close to a human voice that I just felt like I could express myself with it.

When did you start songwriting?

As a teenager. I went on the road for the first time when I was 18 with Rodger Collins, an R&B singer who had a hit record, She's Looking Good. He wrote that song and Wilson Pickett covered it.  Collins encouraged me to write.

I always believed I could write songs. I love the way songs are put together and the effect they make. I took a long break from trying to write songs when I was trying to learn classic Chicago blues. Then I got with Little Charlie and when we were signed to Alligator Records in 1986 we used all my songs on the first record so I had to really knuckle down and get to work.


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2018 BLUES MUSIC AWARDS Trifecta for Rick Estrin & the Nightcats