Rick Estrin & The Nightcats prowl Bluesdays on Tuesday

Tahoe Onstage
Rick Estrin will play Bluesdays on July 18.
Tahoe Onstage photo by Kurt Johnson

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats prowl the Village at Squaw Valley for Bluesdays on Tuesday, July 18.

Entering its ninth year, Bluesdays is a free show each Tuesday evening at The Village at Squaw Valley, located just north of Lake Tahoe and west of Reno.

A resident of Sacramento, Estrin is a quintessentially cool bluesman who plays West Coast jump blues. He’s a harmonica virtuoso, a captivating and hilarious entertainer, and a witty songwriter.

Legendary pianist Pinetop Perkins used to break out laughing whenever he saw Estrin, quoting the chorus from one of his songs, “Dump that chump!”

“Estrin has created some of the finest blues songs of any artist on the planet,” Blues Music Magazine reported. “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.”

Most of this summer’s Rick Estrin & The Nightcats shows will be in Europe. In the United States, the band will play at the Chicago Blues Festival and the Las Vegas Big Blues Bender.

The Nightcats are accomplished, as well.

Guitarist Kid Andersen is one of the busiest blues producers on the West Coast. At the age of 21, Andersen left Norway to join Terry Hanck’s band, landing him in California. Legend has it that his green card read “Alien of Extraordinary Ability.” He also played for several years with Charlie Musselwhite. Andersen replaced Little Charlie Baty when he split with Estrin a few years ago.

Lorenzo Farrell plays organ and acoustic and electric bass. He’s been playing piano since he was 5, studied philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, and religion in Delhi, India. He joined The Nightcats in 2003.

  • Ninth annual Bluesdays
    6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays
    The Village at Squaw Valley
    July 18 — Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
    July 25 — Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers
    Aug. 1 — John Nemeth
    Aug. 8 — Anthony Gomes
    Aug. 15 — Coco Montoya
    Aug. 22 — Ronnie Baker Brooks
    Aug. 29 — Dennis Jones Band
    Sept. 5 — Mark Hummel’s Golden State Lone Star Revue, Mark Hummel, Anson Funderburgh

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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