The Bluecat Express
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The Bluecat Express

Band Jazz Blues


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Lofton A. Emenari"

“Right from the opening notes of their jaunty cover of Professor Longhair's 'Mardis Gras in New Orleans' there is a freshness and vivality carrying the music. Lifting and driving the music doesn't hang in the oft redundant balance as much of the so-called 'trad' New Orleans music does. This is not re-tro either, but a new life is breathed into the disc's 13 cuts. Led drummer Michael Lyle, the gutty vocals of guitarist Earl Alexander, the lilting voice of Lyle's wife, Heather Douglas Lyle and the tight horn section of Andrew Carney, Robert Kyle and Dan Weinstein, the entire session is fun from beginning to end. Certainly an enlivening addition to these sad times and conditions in the old New Orleans we knew prior to Katrina. This music is meant to uplift and it does.” - WHPK - Chicago

"Bob Snyder"

“Let me feel the spirit!” That’s what this group and this music is all about. These musicians shouldn’t be in California, they belong in New Orleans for Mardis Gras.” - WRST - Oshkosh

"Alan Paul"

"I recently got a copy of the latest CD by The Bluecat Express entitled,
"Spirit of New Orleans" . This band is definitely spirited and digs deep into the pulse and music of New Orleans. Heather Douglas, the bands vocalist, swings tight with a sweet sensuality that balances the bands romping Creole grittiness. Grab some gumbo and get on this bandwagon."
- The Manhattan Transfer

"Gary Jackson"

Blue Cat Express’s “Spirit of New Orleans” is a relentless and happy journey into the excitement of Louisiana’s thick patois and oh-so catchy rhythms. Blue Cat Express play with an authority and enthusiasm that feels more genuine than most bands of the region, all the while infusing a touch of class and sophistication that is neither forced nor contrived. - Billboard

"Emil Richards"

The Bluecat Express is the true Spirit of New Orleans. The group and their
CD have captured the true essence, joy and swing of this music. Check it out. It's happening!
- Legendary Studio Percussionist


The Bluecat Express - Spirit of New Orleans



The Bluecat Express mixes traditional New Orleans Dixieland and Second-Line rhythms with a heavy dose of West Coast Swing and Blues. The band is led by drummer Michael Lyle, featuring vocalist Heather Lyle and vocalist / trombonist / violinist Dan Weinstein (Ray Charles, Jimmy Witherspoon, Teddy Edwards), backed by an all-star gang of west coast jazz and blues players. A Cajun-born native of South Louisiana, Lyle’s musical teeth were cut under the influence of New Orleans jazz, Second-Line, Dixieland, Cajun and Zydeco Music.

The roots of the Bluecat Express date back to 1990 when Michael Lyle arrived in Los Angeles after a three year road stint across North America and Europe, in which he played drums with a number of pop and show bands. In L.A., he met vocalist Heather Douglas, whose great-uncle was the late Buddy De Sylva, a legendary songwriter and the founder of Capitol Records. In 1993, they formed the Lyle-Douglas Jazz Quartet (“LDQ”), a straight ahead-ensemble that played a steady schedule of restaurants, nightclubs and outdoor festivals throughout Southern California.

The “LDQ” grew in popularity and in the spring of 2002, a Los Angeles Restaurateur who was from New Orleans asked Michael to “play some of the songs from "back home” at a Mardis Gras Party. Adding a trumpet, the band played for a raucous crowd of 1,000 partygoers who drank beer, ate crawfish and gumbo, and danced the second-line. Michael knew he had a hit and this marked the official birth of the Bluecat Express, named after the Lyle’s cat. “Blue”. Over the next year, the Bluecat Express grew to eight pieces. In the spring of 2003, the Playboy Jazz Festival producer, Jean-Marie Switzler, called inquiring about the band’s availability to perform for Hugh Hefner’s 4th of July Party at the Playboy Mansion. No recording of the full band existed, so a quick demo session was arranged in hopes of landing the Playboy gig. The resulting tracks secured the Playboy performance and laid the groundwork for the Bluecat Express’ debut CD release, “Spirit Of New Orleans” (Rhombus Records -

“Spirit of New Orleans” was officially released in September 2005 and has been well received by jazz radio throughout North America. It is best described as a swinging, boogie-filled romp through the beer-soaked bars of the French Quarter. In April 2006, the Bluecat Express performed at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival in Jacksonville, Florida where they shared the stage with Herbie Hancock, T.S. Monk, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Carment Lundy. July 4th, 2006 will mark the bands fourth consecutive trip to the Playboy Mansion to entertain “Hef” and his gang.

The Bluecat Express also features:

Andrew Carney – Trumpet (Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston)
Robert Kyle – Saxophone (Linda Hopkins, Lou Rawls, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan)
Leslie Baker – Acoustic Bass (Barbara Morrison, Oscar Brown Jr., Floyd Dixon)
Wendy Ryan – Piano (Tito Puente Band, The Kim Richmond Jazz Orchestra)
Earl Alexander – Guitar/Vocals (Temptations, The Dells, Jack McDuff)