The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Albert Collins & Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc

It’s Saturday night and time for a little bit of the blues courtesy of the late Mr. Albert Collins. Nicknamed the Iceman, Collins was born in Leona, TX and was a relative of Lightning Hopkins. His major influences were Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy McGriff, and Guitar Slim. He was known as the Master of the Telecaster, a guitar he began using in the late 1950’s and continued to favor until his death. He substituted a Gibson PAF humbucking pickup in the neck position for the usual single coil, which together with minor tunings and a thumb and index finger picking style, gave him his unique sound. He favored an open-F-minor tuning (low to high: F-C-F-Ab-C-C) and often used a capo so he didn’t have to change his fingerings.

In 1983, his album “Don’t Lose Your Cool” won the W. C. Handy Award for Best Blues Album of the Year. In 1987, he won a Grammy for his “Showdown” album that he recorded with Robert Cray and Johnny Copeland. The following year, his solo release “Cold Snap” was also nominated for a Grammy. His death from lung and liver cancer in 1993 at the age of 61 left a hole in the blues world, but his music lives on.


Travelin South:

Black Catbone:

I ain’t drunk:

If Trouble Was Money:

Love Me Like You Say:

Shoe On The Other Foot:

Honey Hush:

Austin Texas (Iceman):

Further On Down The Road:

A Good Fool Is Hard To Find:


The weather’s been so spring like this past week with temps in the 60’s and 70’s that I feel like a white. So I’m pairing Albert with a Craggy Range 2008 Sauvignon Blanc ($19.00). I love Craggy Range’s Pinot Noir and their Sauvignon Blanc met all my expectations for this excellent New Zealand winery. It has round ripe citrus and apple fruit with good acidity and a nice dry finish. The Craggy Range Sauv has all the trademark herbal notes, but seems gentler than some of the other New Zealand Sauv’s that I’ve tasted. All in all an excellent wine that’s great for some toe-tapping, head nodding blues by Albert Collins. Enjoy!


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