"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
 

Annual Little Charlie Baty Celebration Concert

Rick Estrin and the Nightcats 2023 BMA Nominations

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.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE

Upcoming Shows

Date Event Location
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Triple Door Triple Door, Seattle, WA Triple Door, Seattle, WA
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Blue Frog Studios (Two Sets) Blue Frog Studios (Two Sets), White Rock, BC Blue Frog Studios (Two Sets), White Rock, BC
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Walla Walla Guitar Festival (March 8 - March 10, 2024) Walla Walla Guitar Festival (March 8 - March 10, 2024), Walla Walla, WA Walla Walla Guitar Festival (March 8 - March 10, 2024), Walla Walla, WA
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Yoshi's Oakland Yoshi's Oakland, Oakland, CA Yoshi's Oakland, Oakland, CA
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ 3rd Annual Little Charlie Baty Celebration 3rd Annual Little Charlie Baty Celebration, Sacramento, CA 3rd Annual Little Charlie Baty Celebration, Sacramento, CA
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Chico Women's Club Chico Women's Club, Chico, CA Chico Women's Club, Chico, CA
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Blues on the Coast Concert Series at the Arena Theater Blues on the Coast Concert Series at the Arena Theater, Point Arena, CA Blues on the Coast Concert Series at the Arena Theater, Point Arena, CA
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Sutter Creek Theatre Sutter Creek Theatre, Sutter Creek, CA Sutter Creek Theatre, Sutter Creek, CA
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Moe's Alley Moe's Alley, Santa Cruz, CA Moe's Alley, Santa Cruz, CA
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Bull Run Restaurant Bull Run Restaurant, Shirley, MA Bull Run Restaurant, Shirley, MA
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Iridium Iridium, New York, NY Iridium, New York, NY
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Chan's Chan's, Woonsocket, RI Chan's, Woonsocket, RI
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ The Music Room Cape Cod The Music Room Cape Cod, West Yarmouth, MA The Music Room Cape Cod, West Yarmouth, MA
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Jimmy's Jazz & Blues Club Jimmy's Jazz & Blues Club, Portsmouth, NH Jimmy's Jazz & Blues Club, Portsmouth, NH
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Atlantis Basel Atlantis Basel, Basel Atlantis Basel, Basel
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival (July 26 - July 28) Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival (July 26 - July 28), Fort Langley, BC Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival (July 26 - July 28), Fort Langley, BC
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise #41 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise #41 , Fort Lauderdale, FL Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise #41 , Fort Lauderdale, FL

Rick Estrin & the Nightcats Latest Release CONTEMPORARY

2018 BLUES MUSIC AWARDS Trifecta for Rick Estrin & the Nightcats