3 October 1932, Leona, Texas, USA, d. 24 November 1993, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Collins was the embodiment of the Texas blues guitar style, using non-standard tuning, and slashing out blocked chords and sharp flurries of treble notes (played without a plectrum) to produce an ice-cold sound from his Fender Telecaster. As a youth he developed his style by listening to fellow-Texan Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Frankie Lee Sims and his own cousin Willow Young. His first singles, released from 1958 onwards on small local labels, were exciting shuffle instrumentals, of which The Freeze and Frosty became blues standards, but it was not until the late 60s that he was confident enough to use his laconic, understated singing voice with any regularity. A series of splendid studio and live albums over the following years extended his basic Texas style across the boundaries of jazz and funk, and established him as a major...
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