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Albert Collins 1985
Albert Collins
August 9, 10, and 12, 1985
11” x 17” (27.94cm x 43.18cm)

Albert Collins played Antone?s a lot over the years, and I set had never before been commissioned to do a bill for an Albert only show. I had done posters promoting his appearance at the club before, but those had always been a performance with someone else ?- the most notable of these, being a double bill with Albert King in 1983.

Anyway I really wanted to create a quintessential portrait of ?the iceman? on this occasion. I think that I succeeded in this informal, but very personal, image of Albert; from a photograph taken just outside the back door just before he entered for his performance on the 10th. His great and good-humored nature shows through clearly in that generous smile. Rendered in color crayon on coquille paper stock, with a media mix of India ink and gesso applied by brush, I only have the original art left; no posters. Albert signed the original for me; it is viewable on his right arm, and reads: ?Peace & Love, from Albert Collins.? A treasured piece.


Albert Collins played many times at all the Antone?s locations excepting its current one, at 5th and Lavaca, and I never, ever witnessed any show that wasn?t high-energy world-class blues. Known as ?the Iceman?, Albert would consistently bring a room alive with his hard-edged and penetrating trademark sound. The moniker was a literal testament to the cleaving crispness of his chops, and the cool flow that was formed as they fell and merged.

The signature moment of any Albert Collins show usually occurred about three-fourths of the way through it. Without warning Albert would step off the stage and onto the dance floor. After playing there for a bit to the utter delight of the dancers, he would wander among the tables beyond with someone ? usually Junior, when playing at the Guadalupe location ? trailing behind and laying out a very long cord that still connected him to the stage. Past the tables and out the door he would go, with much of the crowd following in complete thrall. On this particular evening, a very hot one in the Texas capitol, the heat pushed down on itself; in a gentle way around sunset, by midnight it was scurrying around corners and racing down the alleys behind the club. Albert stood in the middle of the parking lot in front of the club?s entrance, eyes closed and intent ? his guitar jerking upward as he cut the notes out of the night. Around and behind him dust devils pushed bits of paper and leaves about as the very air seemed inclined to dance.

The image on this bill was taken that very night, as he was walking into the club to perform.

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