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On You Asked For It—Live!, harmonica giant, songwriter, vocalist and Blues Music Award winner Rick Estrin, along with The Nightcats— jaw-dropping guitarist Chris “Kid” Andersen, singing drummer J. Hansen and dynamic multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Farrell (electric and acoustic bass, organ and Moog synthesizer)—serve up innovative, rollicking contemporary blues. The original songs are all injected with a solid dose of gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll and Estrin’s trademark philosophical wiseguy humor. Since the release of their celebrated Alligator Records albums Twisted in 2009 and One Wrong Turn in 2012, the band has toured non-stop, sharpening their musical skills to a razor’s edge. The band is known as one of the most dynamic and exciting live acts in the blues today. Their sound, while steeped in the blues tradition, continues to push the genre into new territory.
You Asked For It...Live! was recorded on October 5, 2013, (Estrin's birthday) at San Francisco’s Biscuits & Blues. 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.”
Audiences at the band’s live shows consistently ask to go home with a CD that reflects what they just witnessed. Now, with You Asked For It...Live!, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats can satisfy their fans’ demands. Estrin recalls, “After shows, people are always asking, ’Are any of these CDs live? Which of your CDs is most like what you did tonight?’ Now, I can tell them, ‘This one right here. Thank you. We’ll be happy to sign it.’”