Sunday, August 6, 2000
Little Charlie and the Nightcats ~ 2000
Charlie Baty was attending University of California Berkeley and studying mathematics when he formed Little Charlie & the Nightcats with Rick Estrin in 1976. The band's music relies chiefy on electric urban blues of the Chicago variety, but mixed in with other compatible styles, including early rock and roll, soul, surf music, swing, jump blues, and western swing. The Nightcats issued their debut album, All the Way Crazy, in 1987, including the songs "Poor Tarzan", "Suicide Blues" and "When Girls Do It". The following album Disturbing the Peace (1988), included "That's My Girl", "My Money's Green", "She's Talking" and "Nervous". The records help established them on the blues festival and club circuits, and they began touring the country extensively, playing a number of international venues. They have played at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1980 and 1982, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the San Diego, California Street Scene and Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival plus the Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival in 2002.
In early 2008 Baty announced he was entering "soft" retirement, no longer tours with the band. Estrin continued with the band re-billed as Rick Estrin and the Nightcats. Baty was replaced on guitar by Chris 'Kid' Andersen (born 1980), originally from Telemark, Norway. Andersen had played backing Charlie Musselwhite as well as fronting his own band.
Baty's most recent blues recording was as a guest on JW-Jones, Bluelisted (2008), an album which marked the first time in his career that he documented his harmonica playing on a recording, and the first time he and another west-coast blues musician, Junior Watson, had recorded together on the same tracks.