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Little Charlie and the Nightcats 

When: Fri., Dec. 28, 8 & 10 p.m. 2007
Price: $15

If James Brown was the hardest working man in show business, then Little Charlie and the Nightcats are surely the hardest working blues band in the land. They've been Bay Area favorites since they broke out of the Berkeley scene way back in '76. Thirty years on, they're still playing the blues from jump to Chicago and back again. Charlie Baty's jazzy, deep-blue fret work complements the formidable songwriting of vocalist-harp player Rick Estrin, a widely admired tunesmith whose tunes have been covered by Robert Cray, Little Milton, Koko Taylor, and many others. The rhythm section -- J. Hansen on drums and Lorenzo Farrell on stand-up bass -- builds the rock-solid foundation from which Baty's solos take flight. Estrin continues to be one of the best blues songwriters around, with a vocal delivery that's a fine balance of sincerity and sleaze. Little Charlie and the Nightcats play Friday, Dec. 28 at Biscuits and Blues. 8 and 10 p.m., $15. BiscuitsandBlues.com


— Lee Hildebrand

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