Albert Gene Drewery, known as Albert Collins and the Ice Man (October 1, 1932 – November 24, 1993), was an American electric blues guitarist and singer with a distinctive guitar style. He was noted for his powerful playing and his use of altered tunings and a capo. His long association with the Fender Telecaster led to the title “The Master of the Telecaster”.
Collins was born in Leona, Texas, on October 1, 1932. He was introduced to the guitar at an early age by his cousin Lightnin’ Hopkins, also a Leona resident, who played at family gatherings. The Collins family relocated to Marquez, Texas, in 1938 and to Houston in 1941, where he attended Jack Yates High School. Collins took piano lessons when he was young, but when his piano tutor was unavailable his cousin Willow Young would lend Albert his guitar and taught him the altered tuning that he used throughout his career. Collins tuned his guitar to an open F-minor chord (FCFA♭CF), with a capo at the 5th, 6th or 7th fret. At the age of sixteen, he decided to concentrate on learning the guitar after hearing “Boogie Chillen’” by John Lee Hooker. After a three-month battle with cancer, Collins died at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 24, 1993. He was 61 years old.