Every night that award-winning harmonica player, singer and songwriter Rick Estrin and his cohorts The Nightcats perform live— wherever in the world that may be—a crowd of dancing, shouting, laughing and cheering people will be enjoying some of the best live music they’ve ever heard. On one of these nights—October 5, 2013, at San Francisco’s Biscuits And Blues—the proceedings were captured live. The result is Rick Estrin & The Nightcats’ irresistible new release, You Asked For It...Live!. The band was, as they always are, on fire. The hometown, sell-out crowd was ready to explode, and the front man was celebrating his birthday. According to Estrin, “Cutting loose and stretching out in an intimate, nightclub-type setting is the natural environment for the Nightcats to kick maximum ass. The fact that it was my birthday, in the town where I was born and raised, only added more fuel to the fire.”
You Asked For It...Live! has the immediacy, feel and fun of a true Rick Estrin & The Nightcats performance. “No matter how much fun we have and how relaxed we can be in the studio, there’s still nothing like being in front of, and interacting with, our live audience,” Estrin says. The album features some of Rick Estrin’s best-loved and most-requested songs, dating back to his days as lead singer, songwriter and harmonica player of Little Charlie & The Nightcats (featuring Little Charlie Baty on guitar). The album is an up-to-the-minute and totally accessible slice of original, wry and witty blues with a simmering, funky rock edge fueled by Andersen’s blazing genre-hopping guitar and Farrell’s and Hansen’s dazzling keyboard and rhythm work. One listen makes it clear that this is a group comprised of four world-class musicians, who together form one of the tightest and most original bands in any genre.
Rick Estrin, who holds the 2013 Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist–Harmonica, is, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, “an amazing harmonica player, a soulful lead vocalist and a brilliant songwriter.” He ranks among the very best harp players, singers and songwriters in the blues world. His work on the reeds is deep in the tradition of harmonica masters Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs, while at the same time pushing that tradition forward with his unforgettable original songs. And his hipster, street-smart vocals are the perfect vehicle for driving those songs home. Blues Revue says, “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.”
“Infectious, captivating, powerful blues….Intense Chicago-style harp playing, witty songs and tough-as-nails grooves” –Living Blues“These are serious musicians out to have a hotter than hot good time. It’s tough to stay in your seat when Estrin and his musical cohorts get cooking.” –Chicago Sun-Times “Fabulous, remarkable original material” –Billboard