Blues and Jazz Guitarist Charlie Baty has Died

Charles (Little Charlie) Baty in San Diego, 2007
Charles (Little Charlie) Baty in San Diego, 2007

Guitarist Charlie Baty died on March 6th at 66. In 1976 he founded Little Charlie and The Nightcats with harmonica player and vocalist Rick Estrin. The jump band was popular on the urban blues circuit, released many albums for Alligator Records, and toured the United States and Europe. Baty was a versatile guitarist with a diverse ear for American music. The band included a variety of styles in their playing, from surf rock to Western Swing.

In 2008 he went into semi-retirement from the band which continued a heavier schedule led by Rick Estrin. Baty limited his appearances with the group to festival and reunion events. Though he limited traveling he never stopped playing. He formed a new group called Little Charlie and Organ Grinder Swing. In later years he explored Gypsy Jazz and Swing guitar and was a mentor to many young musicians in the Sacramento area. At the time of his passing he was scheduled to appear at the Redwood Coast Music Festival among other events. He recorded as recently as January.

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