Albert Collins

Essential Albums

Artist Playlists

About Albert Collins

Known as the Iceman for his cool, cutting Telecaster solos, Albert Collins was one of the most distinctive electric-guitar stylists of 20th-century blues. Born Albert Drewery in Leona, TX, in 1932, Collins was introduced to his instrument by his cousin, blues guitar legend Lightnin’ Hopkins, and soon developed a unique style based around unconventional minor-key tunings. As a young man Collins built a rep with various Texas bands, but he kicked off his solo career with the 1963 single “Defrost.” He released his first album, The Cool Sound of Albert Collins, in 1965, and by the end of the decade Collins was working out of the West Coast and growing his profile. His career really exploded when he started recording for Alligator Records, beginning with 1978’s Ice Pickin’. Between his unique style and his natural showmanship, Collins became one of the most popular concert attractions on the blues scene. The 1985 album Showdown!—featuring Collins alongside Robert Cray and Johnny Copeland—became one of the most highly regarded blues albums of its era. John Lee Hooker and David Bowie are among the many who called Collins in as a guest on their albums over the years. Collins died of lung cancer in 1993, but his influence on guitarists like Jimmie Vaughan and countless others (not to mention his impeccable catalog) ensure his immortality.

Leona, TX, United States
October 1, 1932
Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada