Personnel: Albert Collins (vocals, guitar); Henry Hayes (alto saxophone); Big Tiny (tenor saxophone); Frank Mitchell (trumpet); Walter McNeil (organ); Bill Johnson (bass); Herbert Henderson (drums).
Principally recorded in Houston, Texas from 1962 to 1963. Originally released in 1965 as "THE COOL SOUND OF ALBERT COLLINS" (TCF-8002). Includes original release liner notes by Pete Welding.
TRUCKIN' WITH ALBERT COLLINS is a replica of the 1969 Blue Thumb reissue (BT-8).
A re-titled reissue of the 1965 album THE COOL SOUND OF ALBERT COLLINS, this set of early sessions shows the style of this blues-guitar behemoth already clearly defined. Collins plays in minor tuning and plucks the strings aggressively with his right hand, giving his playing--even at this stage--an utterly distinctive sound. The set list features Collins's original, groove-inflected instrumentals (he turns in one vocal performance on "Dyin' Flu"), with tenor sax, alto sax, and trumpet adding punchy lines and jazzy solos over comping from a tight bass-drums-and-organ rhythm section.
The centerpiece here, naturally, is Collins's guitar work. His sharp, carefully crafted leads are impressive throughout--he uses space to excellent effect, and he values interplay with the rhythm section over standard flashy showboating. TRUCKIN' contains many of Collins's best-known tunes, including "Frostbite" and "Frosty." (Reputedly, both Johnny Winter and Janis Joplin--teenagers at the time--were present in the studio when Collins cut "Frosty." Joplin predicted the song would be a hit. She was right--it sold millions, and became one of Collins's signature songs). For essential early offerings from this blues master, TRUCKIN' WITH ALBERT COLLINS is at the top of the list.