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Dave Hole
Rough Diamond
Blind Pig Records

By James “Skyy Dobro” Walker

 11 songs; 53:28 minutes; Recommended  

Who are the best five, living, electric slide guitar players in the world? If Dave Hole is not on your list, it is time to reevaluate! Hailing from Perth in Western Australia, Hole is a master of unique tones where steel strings are tickled and tortured by brass tubing. Born in England in 1948, he moved with his family to Australia when he was a child. He fell for the blues early on when he heard a friend's Muddy Waters record. 44 years later and seemingly out of nowhere, this guitarist/vocalist/songwriter burst onto the American music scene in 1992. Declared one of the most exciting and original slide guitarists, his subsequent five successful Alligator Records albums and live shows earned him critical praise.

Rough Diamond is Hole’s first release on Blind Pig Records. From originals like the title track “Rough Diamond Child” (which opens with an ear grabbing sonic assault), “Can’t Stop Loving You” (with an instantly likeable catchy bounce and sing-a-long lyric), and the slow and shimmering “Yours For A Song” to covers including “Rambling On My Mind” by Robert Johnson, “White Trash Girl ” originally popularized by Willie DeVille, and Buddy Holly’s “Think It Over,” these rock-side-of-blues performances feature note stretching and bending that channel the spirit of blues and rock slide legends such as Elmore James, Duane Allman, and Johnny Winter.

Hole is unique in his over the top of the guitar method of playing with the slide on his index finger. Stylistically, Hole separates himself from the slide playing pack, who use a few familiar patterns, to create an endless series of tones, sounds, and sonic leaps from bass to treble to outer reaches of the solar system. An example is found in the song “White Trash Girl” where, in the first and second guitar solo breaks, Dave plays a series of phrases, but he gives each one a completely different sound and tone.

Faithful fans and new comers alike will be well rewarded to import this Aussie’s album into their collection. Click on these song titles to hear a 1 minute sample of a few songs from the album.  Vintage Wine   Yours For A Song   White Trash Girl  

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