Friday 10.06.2022 / Saturday 11.06.2022 / 20:30 h
World Premiere: Two West Coast Legends Together
Rick Estrin & Joe Louis Walker with The Nightcats (USA)
Groove Now is known for bringing musicians together in new and exciting combinations. Such a symbiosis is the project of the two old school friends, Rick Estrin and Joe Louis Walker. They are both blues legends from California – Rick is from Sacramento and Joe Louis is from San Francisco – and they were even both born in the same year – 1949.
The years of friendly relationships with a large number of the world's best blues and soul musicians from Groove Now have paid off again and again. In a conversation with Rick Estrin, we learned that he has known Joe Louis Walker since he was young. We have always been very fond of Joe Louis. His guitar playing, his presence, and above all, his voice are exceptional. We wanted to present him in a context that was extremely special, like the kind of spontaneous jam session that would only take place in a setting like a Caribbean Blues Cruise. We wanted to plan a concert that only really happens in a spontaneous and unplanned way. This type of exceptional project, to the best of our knowledge, has never taken place before.
Both Rick and Joe Louis have internalized the whole tradition of the blues. This can also be heard from their musicians. The music has soul, depth, and is simply moving. Both musicians have released countless recordings.
Rick is probably the blues musician with the most blues music awards and corresponding nominations. As a singer, harmonica player, composer, entertainer and band leader, he is a favorite of Groove Now. With his band – the Nightcats – he always fascinates anew. His texts are of literary quality and his band is great. Kid Andersen is not only one of the world's best and most exciting blues guitarists, he is also a producer and multi-instrumentalist with the utmost respect for the forefathers of the blues. Lorenzo Farrell on keyboards and bass is the great counterweight to the extremely agile band leader. Derrick 'D’mar' Martin on drums is a rhythm machine that never stands still. He played in Little Richard's band for almost 20 years and has equally mastered the energetic and the quiet playing.
As "Little Charlie & The Nightcats", the band was one of the most successful representatives of the classic electric big city blues bands, back in the 80s in California. The well over ten CDs on the legendary Alligator Records label since their formation in 1987 document the ultra-solid work of the “Nightcats”. But since the flamboyant singer, harmonica player and songwriter Rick Estrin became the head of the combo in 2008, the band has really taken off.
Rick Estrin and the Nightcats have probably won more blues music awards and nominations than any other blues band in the world. He has undoubtedly retained his musical qualities and also fascinates as a weird entertainer, with his unmistakable hairstyle, his suits and his trademark pencil-line mustache.
Four-time US Blues Music Award winner, Joe Louis Walker, with his place in the Blues Hall of Fame, can look back on a music career spanning more than 50 years. Although he is over 70 years old, he is still a 'powerhouse' whose voice has lost none of its fascination. Joe Louis is indisputably one of the most important representatives of the international blues scene. In his youth, he roomed with Mike Bloomfield, which sparked his interest in Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead. He later turned to God for a few years and played in a gospel band. In 1986, he released his first album "Cold is the Night". Countless others albums followed on different labels such as High Note or Alligator Records. Many of them are great. He also played with greats of the music scene including jazz musician Branford Marsalis, Tower of Power and Bonnie Raitt, as well as blues greats James Cotton, Buddy Guy and Ike Turner. Today, Joe Louis is much closer to tradition blues than he was a few years ago.
There is hardly a better band and a better stage show to see than Rick Estrin & the Night Cats. And with the addition of blues legend Joe Louis Walker, with his stage presence, exceptional voice and top-class guitar playing, audiences will be lucky to experience these concert evenings, which will probably never take place again in this form.
Rick Estrin – Vocals, Harmonica
Joe Louis Walker – Vocals, Guitar
Chris 'Kid' Andersen – Guitar
Lorenzo Farrell – Bass / organ
Derek "D’Mar" Martin – Drums
Friday / Saturday, June 10 & 11, 2022
Atlantis, Klosterberg 13, Basel
Concert start: 20:30
Door opening: 20:00
Tickets: CHF 69
No seating guaranteed!