Rick Estrin & The Nightcats

Groovin’ In Greaseland

(Alligator Records)

This long-established harp-fuelled outfit know how to whack out a shuffle, marinate a slow blues and just rock out. There is no doubting the musical chops of Estrin, guitar and bass man Kid Andersen, Lorenzo Farrell on keys and drummer Alex Pettersen.

So whether you or I need this record entirely depends upon the quality of the material. Jerry Jemmott plays bass on three cuts and unless my memory is going he was on B B King’s Completely Well album. The Blues Ain’t Going Nowhere has puffing harp and a rolling beat, with Estrin and his distinctive voice, a warm start indeed. Looking For A Woman has a springheeled chug and crisp delivery whilst Dissed Again almost takes a Bowie riff on a blues journey at the beginning. The song has more than a touch of Chuck Berry or even The Coasters. Tender Hearted is a loping and haunting number, one of the best here. MWAH! Gives us a guitar workout with a hit of The Tornadoes, great fun! I Ain’t All That is a Wolf-ish outing and Another Lonesome Day takes its time on a moody kick, fine harp and electric piano.

Hands Of Time updates Jimmy Reed with some style, best lyric on this disc and very enjoyable; Cool Slaw presents a Hammond groove that sits well in the order and then Big Money is a steady Southern style tune with a wry lyric. Hot In Here features terrific harp runs on a party stomper, particularly well recorded. Living Hand To Mouth is for anyone who misses The Fabulous Thunderbirds of the 80s. The set ends with So Long which is a lovely laid-back number. The song quality is high for the genre and witty to boot.

Pete Sargeant


Rick Estrin & The Nightcats new album 'Groovin In Greaseland' is out now on Alligator Records. 

For more information visit Rick Estrin's official website here: http://bit.ly/2n7MhsA

Rick Estrin