Albert Collins & The Icebreakers: Albert Collins (vocals, guitar); Marvin Jackson (guitar); A.C. Reed (tenor saxophone); Allen Batts (organ); Johnny B. Gayden (bass); Casey Jones (drums).
Recorded live at The Union Bar in Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 5-8, 1981.
For the fans of Albert Collins who never got the chance to see him live (Collins passed away in 1993), FROZEN ALIVE! does its part to rectify the injustice. While Collins's "icy" guitar style (so called for his cool, dark-hued tone and space-filled approach to phrasing) was always very well captured on studio recordings, Collins was a consummate showman, and his normally superior skill was pushed to even greater heights before a responsive audience. On FROZEN ALIVE!, the master axe-slinger appears with the Icebreakers, a backing band comprised of a rhythm guitarist, bassist, drummer, organist, and tenor saxophonist.
The Icebreakers rip it up on the old-school blues of "Caldonia," cool it out on the groove-laden "Got a Mind to Travel," and slip into pop-and-lock funk on "I Got That Feeling." Collins, of course, takes center stage throughout, singing and, moreover, making his Telecaster cry, soar, and stop to ponder, before barreling ahead. Collins's timing is impeccable, his soulfulness absolute, and this fine early-'80s live date is the next best thing to having seen him in person.