A musical riddle steeped in some electric blues

From staff reports

Quick, blues fans: Can you name an award-winning band that includes one of the best harmonica players in the genre, a Norwegian guitar ace, a drummer who plays standing up, plus a versatile multi-instrumentalist?

That would be Rick Estrin and the Nightcats, who bring their high energy take on electric blues to the White Horse Black Mountain on Thursday, Aug. 27. The quartet serves up modern original blues seasoned with hints of R&B and roadhouse rock ’n’ roll in a dynamic stage show.

Estrin, the harmonica player and lead vocalist, was born in San Francisco and has been playing professionally since he was 18. After honing his craft with veteran bluesmen, he founded Little Charlie and the Nightcats in 1973, the forerunner of the current band.

A masterful songwriter, he’s joined onstage by Chris “Kid” Anderson, a Norwegian guitar wizard transplanted to California. He released four solo albums and played in harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite’s band before joining the nightcats.

J. Hansen, billed as the only “singing, songwriting, standing drummer in the blues,” began his drumming career in traditional jazz but started to sit in with Bay Area blues groups while studying music in college. After years of professional touring with other bands, he joined the Nightcats in 2002. Rounding out the lineup is multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Farrell, who brings a jazz background to his contributions on organ, acoustic bass and electric bass.

On the prowl

Who: Rick Estrin and the Nightcats

When: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 27

Where: White Horse Black Mountain

Cost: $10 advance, $12 door