2008-05-06Recorded just a year before his death, this live disc features ample doses of Collin’s ice toned guitar with spice added by keyboards, a saxophone and a trumpet. "Iceman" and "Honey Hush" kick things off with short, economical, solos setting the stage for the longer work outs featured on many of the other cuts. While Collins’ guitar work is certainly a prominent element of the band’s sound, sax player Jon Smith gets plenty of time to shine on a wailing solo on the slow grinder, "Lights Are On (But Nobody’s Home)" from Collins’ 1986 Cold Snap release and on the testifying blues of "Too Many Dirty Dishes" where he leads the band through the slow groove with a ferocious solo that segues into an equally steamy solo by Collins. Bass player Johnny Gayden gets his own turn to shine with some righteously funky grooves on "Put the Shoe On the Other Foot" while Collins is walking through the crowd tethered to earth by only his guitar cord. While most modern guitarists play within a limited range of volume, this set also reveals Collins’ affinity for luring the audience into his web by dropping the volume to a whisper, stretching the space between notes to the breaking point, and then blasting away the tension and taking them to new heights as he cranks back into full volume overdrive. Appropriately rounding out the set is Collins’ signature tune, "Frosty" which is, ironically, smoking hot with fire-drenched keyboard work and trumpet blasts chasing the groove all the way to the end. Great blues from a man sadly taken too soon Smitty
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