John Hunter: "Ride With Me"
much too long, the legend of Long John Hunter was largely
a local one, limited to the bordertown region between
El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. That's where the
guitarist reigned for 13 years (beginning in 1957) at
Juarez's infamous Lobby Bar. Its riotous, often brawling
clientele included locals, cowboys, soldiers from nearby
Fort Bliss, frat boys, and every sort of troublemaking
tourist in between. Hunter kept 'em all entertained
with his outrageous showmanship and slashing guitar
"Fortunately, Hunter's reputation eventually outgrew
the Lone Star State. His 1992 set for the Spindletop
imprint, Ride with Me, got the ball
Charlie and The Nightcats: "All The Way Crazy"
of the hardest-working barroom blues bands on the West
Coast, Little Charlie & the Nightcats started out
in the mid-'70s, began recording around a decade later,
and just kept on going strong. The two constants over
the Nightcats' long history were co-founders Little Charlie
Baty (guitar) and Rick Estrin (harmonica, lead vocals).
Baty's biting licks were the perfect complement to Estrin's
devil-may-care swagger and wryly humorous, storytelling
lyrics, and that combo was enough to maintain a decades-long
career as a popular live act all across the blues circuit.
The band's music relies chiefly on electric urban blues
of the Chicago variety, but mixes in bits of many other
compatible styles, including early rock & roll, soul,
surf, swing, jump blues, and Western swing."
"After just over a decade in existence, Little Charlie
& the Nightcats issued their debut album, All
the Way Crazy, in 1987."