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Albert Collins

Albert Collins And the Icebreakers: In Concert

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The Deal: Ground-breaking bluesman's time capsule, forever frozen in 1985.

The Good: Albert Collins was the Master of the Telecaster. His finger picked, crisp attack gave him another nickname, the Iceman. Using minor open chord tunings and a capo, Collins got a frosty stinging sound, one that he started to capitalize on with his 1978 Alligator masterpiece Ice Pickin'.

This hour-long clip is from a German TV studio in 1985, showing him at the height of his powers. He goes from chicken pickin' funk on "Skatin'" to blistering licks like an ice pick to the brain on "If Trouble Were Money," closing with his million selling 1962 hit "Frosty," a shuffle that Collins transforms into a gallop. He's also a master of modulation, controlling the audience by playing so softly at times that the crowd stays perfectly quiet to catch every nuance of Collins' intricate string work before he barrels back to life at full throttle and top volume. Collins was a consummate showman. Equipped with a 150-foot cord, he would often wander outside a club and onto the street playing for passers-by. Here he strolls through the studio showing off another one of his tricks, shaking hands with the audience with his right hand while continuing to pluck the strings with his left, fretting hand.

The Bad: Southside Johnny, the poor man's Bruce Springsteen, shows up for some reason for an interminable, amateurish harp solo. Mercifully, he only stays for one cut.

The Verdict: Get it now. Look, listen, marvel and mourn. You won't see anything like this come around very often in your lifetime.

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