The Bluecat Express

The Bluecat Express



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)


The Bluecat Express - Spirit of New Orleans

Set List

Festival Set List - 1 hour festival set

Mardis Gras In New Orleasn
Hard Hearted Hannah
New Orleans Gettin' Too Hot
God Bless The Child
Route 66
Second Line
Basin Street
Bill Bailey
Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
Saints Go Marching In

For longer engagents, songs are added from the following list

Frim Fram Sauce
I Love Paris
Come Rain or Come Shine
Sunny Side of The Street
Sugar Blues
Trumpet, Guitar, Piano
Take the A Train
Sweet Georgia Brown
The Nearness of You
Audobon Zoo
Agua de Beber
Hello Dolly
They Can’t Take that Away From Me
Quiet Nights
St Louis Woman
Danse Sur Moi