One Wrong Turn

Harmonicist Rick Estrin’s new CD, the follow-up to 2009’s well-received Twisted, gives his fans more of what they’ve come to expect from the dapper musician. Estrin’s backed by the same trio he’s been working with since guitarist Little Charlie, with whom he’d toured and recorded for more than 30 years, retired from the road four years ago. Estrin is a prolific composer and, in addition to his eight originals, the CD showcases two numbers by drummer J. Hansen and instrumentals by guitarist Chris “Kid” Andersen and bassist/organist Lorenzo Farrell. In addition to his stunning playing, especially on chromatic harmonica, Estrin’s lyrics are several cuts above the usual “she done me wrong” variety. A good example is “(I Met Her on the) Blues Cruise,” a bouncy item in which he describes an amorous encounter on a Caribbean musical voyage. The initial attraction soon fades when he spots all her tattoos (e.g., “The Tommy Castro tramp stamp was tough to overlook”). Andersen’s feature is “The Legend of Taco Cobbler,” an uptempo number that’s described as a “spaghetti-western-while-surfing instrumental.” Tenorman Terry Hanck guests on “Zonin’,” Farrell’s jazzy instrumental that features his hip organ work and Andersen’s guitar. An added bonus is the inclusion of the lyrics.