Other Players

RIP Charlie Baty and Ron Thompson


Many of you may know of "Little" Charlie Baty, of "Little Charlie & The Nightcats" (1976 to 2008) fame. They were a terrific blues band from Sacramento CA, and recorded for years on Alligator Records and toured all over the world.

I just found out yesterday that Baty had passed away a couple of days ago. He was a tremendously talented guitarist who played multiple styles and was just as great a rhythm player as he was a soloist. One of my favorite players of all time.

I also just read that another Bay Area-connected blues guitarist, Ron Thompson, passed away a couple of weeks ago. Coincidentally, the first time I saw Little Charlie & The Nightcats perform in 1980, Thompson was the warm-up act.

I'm going to attach a photo I took at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1979. Ron Thompson (at left) and his band performed and backed up the legends on the bill that day (Jimmy Rodgers, Louis Myers, Luther Tucker and a few others).


I saw Little Charlie & The Nightcats back in the late nineties in Philly. Great player.



Charlie Baty's passing really hit hard. I always admired him but really listened to him in great abundance from last summer to now. I love his playing but his technique, arrangements, and style hit me like lightning as the perfect bridge between my comfort zone of Texas blues and Rock to swing and boogie. His playing was dynamic and very un-intimidating for me to help expand my playing and improv-style.

I had hardly played that much for a 6-7 month period until Charlie Baty's music was the catalyst to dive in head first again and regain the fun last June. May he rest in peace.

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