Rick Estrin


Estrin was born in San Francisco, California in 1949, and grew up following his own path. He discovered an entirely new lifestyle when, as a 10-year-old boy, he made his way to the tough Market Street area and befriended many of the neighborhood characters. He found another new world when his older sister gave him a copy of Ray Charles’ The Genius Sings The Blues when he was 12. By the time he was a teenager, Estrin had completely identified with the urban, African-American culture surrounding him. Estrin moved to Chicago when he was 19 and worked with South Side bluesmen Johnny Young.

Rick Estrin ranks among the very best harp players, singers and songwriters in the blues world. 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. The Associated Press calls his harp playing “endlessly impressive.”
Estrin won the 1994 Blues Music Award 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.


Twisted (2009)
One Wrong Turn (2012)
Rick Estrin Reveals! Secrets, Subtleties and Tricks of the Blues Harmonica (DVD)



Rick Estrin and The Nightcats