music clip of the day


Tag: Albert Collins

Monday, August 10th

two takes

“Cold, Cold Feeling” (J. M. Robinson)

T-Bone Walker (1910-1975, vocals, guitar), 1952



Albert Collins (1932-1993, vocals, guitar), 1978



my back pages

The other day, on Spotify, I saw that this track—something I co-produced in another life—had over 4 million plays. If someone had told me, when we were working on this album, that someday it would “stream” to millions of listeners, I would have wondered: What are you smoking?



random sights

other day, Chicago

Friday, June 10th

voices I miss

Albert Collins (1932-1993), live, Switzerland (Montreux), 1979



art beat: other day, Art Institute of Chicago 

Aaron Siskind (1903-1991), Chicago 28 1957 (Abstractions, through 8/14/16)



tonight in Chicago

The Chicago Blues Festival celebrates the 45th anniversary of Alligator Records, where, in the ’70s, barely out of college, I had the good fortune to co-produce recordings by Albert Collins, Koko Taylor, Son Seals, Fenton Robinson, Jimmy Johnson, Carey Bell, et al.

Saturday, April 23rd


Lonnie Mack, guitarist, singer, songwriter, July 18, 1941-April 21, 2016

“Memphis” (C. Berry), 1963


“She Don’t Come Here Anymore,” 1966


“Farther on Down the Road,” live (with Albert Collins, Roy Buchanan), New York (Carnegie Hall), 1985

Friday, November 6th

voices I miss

Albert Collins (1932-1993), “If Trouble Was Money,” live, 1990



random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.


Tuesday, November 4th

blues festival (day two)

Albert Collins (1932-1993), Stevie Ray Vaughan (1954-1990), Jimmie Vaughan (1951-), “Frosty” (A. Collins), live, Washington, D.C., 1989



random (birthday) thoughts

Blessed to have lived sixty-two years—thirteen more than my father—in a world so beautiful.

Saturday, August 23rd

voices I miss

Albert Collins (1932-1993), “Cold, Cold Feeling,” live, Switzerland (Montreux Jazz Festival), 1979

Nobody sounds like this guy, whose 1978 album Ice Pickin’, recorded at Curtis Mayfield’s studio in Chicago and nominated for a Grammy, I’m happy to say I co-produced.



art beat

Bruce Davidson (1933-), Birmingham, Ala., 1963


Saturday, July 13th

sounds I miss*

Albert Collins (1932-1993), “Two-Lane Highway” (John Zorn, Spillane, 1987)



musical thoughts

[A] particular brand of comment showed up enough [on the Alan Lomax Archive recordings on YouTube] that I started a collection. I call them “blues affirmations.” They number in the dozens, posted to an assortment of clips of black vernacular music. These performances don’t necessarily pertain to the song structure or performance style called “blues”—they could be field hollers or minstrel pieces—but the commentary was single-mindedly focused on it.

The notion of a “pure” culture, of any kind, is informed by ignorance and/or ideology and/or romanticism. I feel set upon by a thick, dumb fog just looking at the phrase. But the Blues Affirmations stir something in me; they insist, childlike, on something real, true, forever enduring, constructed of unadulterated and unmediated purity. I look forward to them, and they undo me a bit when they arrive.

They feel authentic, so I’d like to give them the last word:

one word: BLUES…

This is blues

The real blues

Real O.G. Blues. No fancy shit!

This is the real face of the blues right here.

this is how it’s done with real blues!

this that old school real sittin on your porch blues!

That’s REAL old school blues

Oh man….. that’s the Blues baby….. that’s the real, down South, low down, heartfelt blues.

Authentic, real Blues, Love it.

it doesnt get anymore authentic than this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that is the blues.


true blues

Pure Blues

Blues is timeless.

there is nothing as hard as the blues

This man over here folks is the blues himself!

Great melody that shows blues music comes from the soul.

The blues is very expressive, and it is the foundation of rock music!

True music, with emotion, feelings.. His soul is speakin

the Blues needs no roaring electric guitars and smashing drums to show all the hard aspects of life without disguise

Clapton who?…THIS IS THE BLUES, R.L. shows you how it smells, looks, taste, sounds, and most importantly how it feels. Clapton never had babies cry in the background of his performances

it’s only perfect because he’s authentic

that look in his eyes at 4:05…. thats the blues right there

The blues is real, that’s why the blues lives on.

That’s from far one of the best blues I never heard… real blues… from the guts… not from the wallets !!!

This is where the blues started – AND THIS IS WHERE THE BLUES ENDS.

—Nathan Salsburg (curator, Alan Lomax Archive), “Part V of Against Authenticity,” Oxford American (6/21/13)


*As I’ve mentioned, I had the great pleasure of working with Albert, co-producing his 1978 album Ice Pickin’ (Alligator)—singular guitarist, sweet guy.

Monday, 11/19/12

Albert Collins (1932-1993), “Lights Are On But Nobody’s Home,” live, Austin, Tx., 1988

How strange to think that Albert, a sweet, warm, gentle guy I had the good fortune to work with in the ’70s while at Alligator Records, has been gone nearly 20 years.



musical thoughts

There’s one cat I’m still trying to get across to people. He is really good, one of the best guitarists in the world.

Jimi Hendrix (1968)

Monday, 10/12/09

These clips really take me back, as I worked with blues guitarist Albert Collins, co-producing his 1978 album Ice Pickin’, when I was at Alligator Records. Not only was he an absolute joy onstage; he was, offstage, a real sweetheart.

Albert Collins, live, Germany (late 1970s)


Albert Collins, “Frosty,” live, Germany, 1988



odds & ends

MacArthur “genius” grant winner John Zorn composed a piece for Albert, “Two-Lane Highway,” which appears—with Albert on guitar—on Zorn’s album Spillane.


Amaze your friends with your ability to answer this (seldom asked) question: Who’s “the first blues guitar book published in Hebrew in Israel” dedicated to?

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