REVIEWS - Groovin' in Greaseland

Posted May 2018 by David Mac
Blues Junction Productions

Monthly Album Spotlight: Groovin' in Greaseland - Rick Estrin & the Nightcats

On Groovin’ In Greaseland, Rick Estrin and the Nightcats put together a solid collection of originals that feels like songs you have already been listening to your entire life. Yet these offerings are as fresh and invitingly irresistible as a bakery at sunrise. These tunes, mostly Estrin originals, fit my ears like a comfortable pair of shoes that still have a lot of miles left in them. Each is an individual, self-contained gem that has listeners following this great band to several destinations along the blues highway. Various tempos, textures and moods serve as a backdrop for Estrin’s wonderful talents.

As a songwriter, Estrin’s attention to detail and superb editing puts him in a class by himself. For years Estrin’s calling card has been that of the wise sage and urban hipster who it seems has been placed on this earth to tell us the score and the inside dope. It would be easy to dismiss his material as being just clever and entertaining, which it is of course, but that would be missing the larger point. What he brings to the table is also thought provoking and poignant. When you can do all of this and get people to dance, all at the same time, you have created something very special.

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Posted on October 6, 2017 by Rhys Williams
BluesBlast Magazine

The release of a new album by Rick Estrin & the Nightcats is always cause for celebration. What is there to say about this group of rapscallians that hasn’t already been said? One of the most widely-respected blues bands in the world, with A-list musicians, whip-smart songs and a live show that is as entertaining as it is technically impressive. Over its eight-year lifespan, the band has built on the more than solid foundations laid by Little Charlie when he led the Nightcats, releasing three essential albums (all on Alligator Records) and firmly embedding itself in the premier division of blues bands.

And the good news is that they have a new studio album out, Groovin’ In Greaseland. Even better news is that it maintains the gold standard of previous releases, with 13 songs (10 from the pen of Estrin, one co-written by Estrin with guitarist Kid Andersen, one from Andersen himself and one from keyboardist Lorenzo Farrell) packed into just under an hour of serious fun.

Read More at BluesBlast Magazine

Posted on August 15, 2017 by Grant Britt
No Depression

Nightcats' Greasy Groove

Rick Estrin was born too late. He looks like he stepped out of the 1940s, clad in a zoot suit, sporting a pencil-thin hipster mustache and a big fluffy pompadour piled on top of his head. But Estrin's sound is from a later era, soaked up from his harpman heroes, including Sonny Boy I (John Lee Williamson) and Sonny Boy II (Rice Miller) as well as James Cotton, Big Walter Horton, Junior Wells, and Little Walter, who Estrin honors by naming his band after Walter's first band, the Nightcats. Although Estrin has always been the frontman, the band didn't bear his name till 2008, when former guitarist Little Charlie Baty retired and was replaced by Kid Andersen.

The title of their latest release is not some twisted take on Elvis' mausoleum, but the name of Andersen's recording studio, where all the action took place.

Estrin writes the majority of this stuff, displaying a warped sense of humor reminiscent of the Leiber and Stoller material that fueled the Coasters' hits like “Young Blood,” “Yakety Yak,” and “Shoppin' For Clothes.”

Read More at No Depression