Little Charlie Baty
Redwood Coast Music Festival 2019 Featured Guest Artist
Little Charlie Baty has been described as Blues Royalty, one of the finest blues guitar players of this generation, a title well earned! Starting in 1976 when he and Rick Estrin formed Little Charlie and The Nightcats, the spark of things to come sprang into life.
In the early years Little Charlie and the Nightcats backed up Big Mama Thornton, Tiny Powell, Charles Brown, Sonny Rhodes, Albert Collins, Floyd Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Gatemouth Brown, Pee Wee Crayton, in addition to performing their own shows at festivals. In 1982 the band recorded its first record, a 45 of a Rick Estrin original Homely Girl’ backed with Run Me Down’. Little Charlie’s guitar playing was recognized by Robert Cray in an early interview he did with Rolling Stone Magazine, and eventually the band signed with Alligator Records and released All the Way Crazy’ in 1987.
Charlie has continued to grow as a guitarist, playing blues, jazz, western swing, and other types of music and combining these styles to form a unique voice. Charlie has recorded 10 records with Alligator, 3 records with John Hammond on Point Blank (all 3 nominated for Grammies), and appeared as a guest on records by Joe Louis Walker, Kid Ramos, J.W. Jones, Mark Hummel and others.
In 2008, Little Charlie decided to leave the Nightcats to pursue other musical interests, such as gypsy jazz, traditional jazz, and Brazilian choro music. Little Charlie abandoned retirement to play blues with harp player Mark Hummel as a special guest guitarist, recording a live CD – Remembering Little Walter – on the Blind Pig label. This CD features Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Boy Arnold, and other notable blues harp players performing songs recorded by the late Little Walter. The Remember Little Walter CD was nominated for a Grammy and won two Blues Music Awards – Best Blues Record of the Year and Best Traditional Record of the Year. Little Charlie toured with Texas-based guitarist Anson Funderburgh and Mark Hummel in a format called the Golden State/Lone Star Revue for several years from late 2012 until late 2016 and recorded 2 CDs with this project on the Electro Fi label. Golden State/Lone Star Revue has been nominated for blues band of the year in 2016 by the Blues Music Awards and their latest record was nominated for Traditional Blues Record of the Year.
Little Charlie Baty decided to leave this combo at the end of 2016 and concentrate on other projects, including his Organ Grinder swing project. His new release on the Eller Soul label, Skronky Tonk, has received critical acclaim and earned an impressive 4 star revue in Down Beat magazine. Little Charlie has recorded 2 CDs with artist Big Harmonica George. Recently, Little Charlie has signed on to tour with Sugar Ray and the Blue Tones. Additionally, Little Charlie has performed with Canadian guitar star J. W. Jones, jazz vocalist and pianist Dawn Lambeth, and continues to pursue his interests in gypsy jazz by heading up the Little Charlie Caravan.
He continues to develop and define his guitar style and his many influences have resulted in a truly unique voice in the music world.
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