The Paladins

with Rick Estrin and the Nightcats

Sun Jan 7

The Paladins

with Rick Estrin and the Nightcats

Doors: 6:00 pm
Start: 7:00 pm
Age: Ages 21+ Only

Roots rock-rockabilly band.

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Event Information

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Genre: blues / rockabilly

Ticket Price: $20 advanced / $22 day of show / $35 reserved loft seating

The Paladins

The Paladins from San Diego California are the preeminent blues/rockabilly band in
America. Founded in 1980 by guitarist Dave Gonzalez and bass player Thomas
Yearsley, they have recorded five singles, nine full Length studio records, and three live
albums. Along the way they built a solid reputation as one of America's hardest
working and best live bands.
The Paladins helped pave the way for the Rockabilly craze of the early 1980s. Their
tagline at the time was "Western & Bop", as they played a combination of rockabilly
and vintage country together with a blues groove. Their first LP, The Paladins, was
released in 1987 and was produced by Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. They
followed that up with Years Since Yesterday, released on Alligator Records in 1989 and
produced by Los Lobos' Steve Berlin and Mark Linnet. When Let’s Buzz came out in
1990 the band was firmly planted as a headliners in showcase music clubs across the
country and in Europe. The band also established themselves at numerous festivals,
sharing bills with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The
Blasters, and Los Lobos. Let's Buzz, “an invigorating blend of rockabilly, blues,
rhythm-and-blues, and country," was recorded in the Los Angeles studio of 1970s soul
star Leon Haywood, and is their largest selling record to date. Since that time six more
critically acclaimed albums have come out. Most notably, their 1996 live album Million
Mile Club, which fittingly marked the band’s millionth mile traveled on the roads of the
To their many fans worldwide, the Paladins appeared to have come to an end in 2004.
That's when Gonzalez wanted to focus on other musical interests and he formed the
western-soul band the Hacienda Brothers. During this time Dave Gonzalez liked to
refer to the Paladins status as being “on hiatus.” Sadly, the untimely death of Hacienda
Brothers band mate and longtime friend, Chris Gaffney in 2008, ended the Hacienda
Brothers, which had released four Albums. Then in 2010 the Paladins Reunited for a
festival in Europe, which led to even more dates there in 2011. Also that year the band
performed their first US date in seven years at the Ink and Iron Festival in Long Beach
California. The next year they appeared at the 2012 Doheny Blues Festival and now
every year since, they have been headlining select European shows and special
reunion appearances here in the US.
Dave Gonzalez has been living in Austin Texas for the past seven years where he stays
busy, not only performing, but also recording bands and producing records. Thomas
Yearsley has done the same by running Thunderbird Analog Recording Studio and LUX
Records in California. In between all of that Dave, Tom and drummer Brian Fahey have
also gotten together to record the latest Paladins record titled New World, their first
album in over 14 years. It’s a diverse collection of smoldering blues and roots rock,
with a little honkytonk thrown in. It’s like the Paladins shows, non-stop intensity and
fine musicianship wrapped up neatly in a three-piece band.

Rick Estrin and the Nightcats

Wildly fun, musically fearless and bursting with bravado, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats have created one of the blues’ most instantly recognizable sounds and no-holds-barred styles. Featuring the world-class talents of harmonica master, songwriter and vocalist Rick Estrin, guitar wunderkind Chris “Kid” Andersen, keyboard wizard Lorenzo Farrell and dynamic drummer Alex Pettersen, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats serve up sharp and incisive original blues and gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll. With his wily and unforgettable original songs and his hipster, street-smart vocals, no one on the blues scene writes or sings like Rick Estrin. No one looks like him either, as Estrin is always dressed to the nines, sporting his trademark pencil-line mustache and pompadour haircut. DownBeat says, “Rick Estrin sings and writes songs like the brightest wiseguy in all of bluesland and blows harmonica as if he learned at the knee of Little Walter.” Live, the band is simply unbeatable. They deliver a high-energy show capable of bringing any audience to its feet. According to Living Blues magazine, they play “captivating, powerful blues and roots rock with a wickedly cool and otherworldly twist on tradition...intelligently conceived and executed...hugely entertaining."

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats’ fourth Alligator album, Groovin’ In Greaseland, features 13 original songs, 11 by Estrin (including one co-written with Andersen), and one each by Andersen and Farrell. From the true life wisdom of The Blues Ain’t Going Nowhere to the rambunctious Hot In Here to the humorous, semi-autobiographical Dissed Again to the hard luck Living Hand To Mouth, the album delivers one winning performance after another. The band’s dazzling performances bring the songs to life as richly detailed characters spill their secrets and share their stories. One listen makes it clear that this is one of the tightest and most original groups in any genre, constantly inspiring each other to new heights. Groovin’ In Greaseland was produced by Andersen and Estrin and recorded at Andersen’s soon-to-be legendary Greaseland Studio in San Jose, California. According to Estrin, “Kid is the best producer I’ve ever worked with. And the fastest.”

For more than 30 years and nine albums, Rick fronted Little Charlie & The Nightcats, flawlessly combining his songs, vocals and harmonica with Little Charlie Baty’s one-of-a-kind guitar excursions. The band won international acclaim and toured the world repeatedly. They were nominated four times for the prestigious Blues Music Award for Band Of The Year. With Charlie’s retirement from touring in 2008, Rick took over leadership of the band. He knew the only way to replace Baty’s mind-melting mashup of blues, jazz and roots rock was to find someone with an equally insane and daredevil guitar approach. Rick knew that would be a tall order to fill. As luck would have it, Kid Andersen, who had been working with another harp legend, Charlie Musselwhite, became available. “Kid’s a fearless nut on the guitar,” says Estrin. “He’s really the only guy who could fit in with us.” With an unpredictable, uninhibited style that perfectly meshed with Estrin’s wildly imaginative songs, the new band charged out of the gate.

Since the 2009 release of Rick Estrin & The Nightcats’ celebrated Alligator Records debut Twisted, the 2012 follow-up One Wrong Turn and 2014’s crowd-pleasing You Asked For It...Live!, the band has continued to tour non-stop, winning new fans at every turn. They’ve performed at festivals and concert stages from San Francisco to Chicago to New York, and all over Europe, with recent stops in Norway, Switzerland and Poland.

Estrin has been nominated for 20 Blues Music Awards and won twice. In 2013 he took the Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist–Harmonica. He also won the 1994 Blues Music Award for Song Of The Year for his composition My Next Ex-Wife, and has written songs for a growing legion of other musicians. Three of his songs found their way onto Grammy-nominated albums by Koko Taylor, Robert Cray and John Hammond. Estrin cites Sonny Boy Williamson II, Percy Mayfield and Detroit bluesman Baby Boy Warren as his major songwriting influences. 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 innovative songs. And his sly and soulful 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.”

Besides Estrin’s celebrated songwriting and musical skills, he and the band are among the most entertaining and colorful showmen around. Estrin’s quick wit and signature look and Andersen’s off-the-cuff guitar acrobatics add even more spontaneous fun to their live performances. “People don’t go out to see people who look like themselves,” says Estrin. “They want to see something special. I was schooled in this business to be a showman, and that’s what you get when you come to see us perform. We know how to put on a show.”

Estrin was born in San Francisco, California in 1949, and grew up fiercely independent. As a 10-year-old boy, he made his way to the tough Market Street area and befriended many of the neighborhood characters. When he was 12, his older sister gave him a copy of Ray Charles’ The Genius Sings The Blues, and he became infatuated with the music. Albums from Jimmy Reed, Champion Jack Dupree, Mose Allison, Nina Simone and others soon followed. By the time he was a teenager, Estrin had immersed himself in the urban, African-American culture surrounding him. He got his first harmonica at age 15, and by age 18 was proficient enough to begin sitting in at black clubs around the city. He first jammed with blues master Lowell Fulson and immediately was hired to open five shows for R&B giant Z.Z. Hill. He worked five nights a week for almost a year with guitar legend Travis Phillips in a band fronted by famed pimp/bluesman Fillmore Slim (who was the centerpiece of the acclaimed Hughes Brothers documentary American Pimp). Slim introduced Estrin to singer Rodger Collins, the man who would become Rick’s first real musical mentor. Collins schooled Rick on the finer points of songwriting and show business. Estrin moved to Chicago when he was 19 and worked with Windy City bluesmen Johnny Young, Eddie Taylor, Sam Lay and Johnny Littlejohn. He met and jammed with Muddy Waters, who told Rick, “You outta sight, boy! You got that sound, boy! You play like a man, boy!” Muddy wanted Estrin to go on the road with him, but due to nothing more than a missed phone call, it never happened. Rick eventually moved back to the Bay Area, and, to the joy of blues fans everywhere, met guitarist Charlie Baty and formed Little Charlie & The Nightcats.

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats have not only picked up where Little Charlie & The Nightcats left off, they’ve taken everything to the next level. Now, with Groovin’ In Greaseland, they prove yet again why DownBeat calls them “marvelous and crowd-pleasing.” Rick Estrin & The Nightcats continue to set the bar high, proving themselves night after night on stages around the world. Billboard called them “fabulous, remarkable and original.” According to Blues Revue, “It just doesn’t get any better.”


KID ANDERSEN (guitar, background vocals)
Chris “Kid” Andersen was born in Telemark, Norway. A blues fan since childhood, Andersen fell in love with the music of Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Junior Watson, and the Kings (B.B., Albert and Freddie). By the time he was 18, he was backing all the American blues stars who came through Norway, including Homesick James, Nappy Brown and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. He moved to California when he was 21. Once in the U.S.A., Andersen earned a green card as an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability.” Andersen released four solo albums before joining blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite’s band in 2004, a gig that lasted until he joined Rick Estrin & The Nightcats in 2008. Andersen’s Greaseland Studio, winner of the 2017 Keeping The Blues Alive Award, has been the scene of recordings by artists including Elvin Bishop, John Nemeth, Wee Willie Walker and Finis Tasby, as well as all three Rick Estrin & The Nightcats studio CDs.

LORENZO FARRELL (piano, organ, synthesizer)
Lorenzo Farrell was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, where he started playing piano at age five. During his high school years in California, he discovered jazz and made the switch to upright acoustic bass. After high school, Farrell took several years off from his music career to earn a degree in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley, and study religion in Delhi, India. Since returning to the San Francisco Bay Area, he has been a highly sought-after multi-instrumentalist, having returned to piano and mastered organ in recent years. A Nightcat since 2003, Lorenzo has also had the opportunity to perform and/or record with many other artists, including Wee Willie Walker, Elvin Bishop, Finis Tasby, Jackie Payne, Andy Santana, Terry Hanck and Little Charlie Baty’s Organ Grinder Swing.

Robert Alexander Pettersen was born in Oslo, Norway. He first started drumming at age 11 and by 16 he had already earned a reputation as a gifted and dexterous blues drummer. He befriended teen prodigy guitarist Kid Andersen, three years his senior, and within a few years was drummer for the house band at Oslo’s famed Muddy Waters Club. The band, which often featured Andersen as well, backed up American artists performing throughout Norway. Pettersen has toured with countless notable musicians, including Junior Watson, Rick Holmstrom, Nappy Brown, Mitch Kashmar, Kid Ramos, James Harman, Terry Hanck and Louisiana Red, with whom he played at the 2009 Blues Music Awards. Pettersen has two Norwegian Grammy wins with the Billy T Band, and has played with every major roots and blues artist in that country. When the call came in 2016 to join The Nightcats, Petterson jumped at the opportunity and moved to California.

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