Rough Diamond by Dave Hole

Rough Diamond by Dave Hole
Rough Diamond by Dave Hole (click images to enlarge)
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Description of Rough Diamond by Dave Hole

Released 2007-05-08

Released by Blind Pig

Available in Audio CD format

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Manufacturer Description

Dave Hole, an Australian artist, is well known for his guitar mastery. Since his recording debut fifteen years ago, Dave's records and live performances have drawn raves from countless international publications, and garnered legions of fans. "Nothing interferes with Hole's searing guitar when he is in full flight," said Rolling Stone magazine, while Guitar World added, "Hole produces solo upon blistering solo that is exhilaratingly relentless." His newest recording, "Rough Diamond," amply reaffirms his title as the reigning master of the slide guitar. His fret-melting guitar riffs are infused with the same spirit as those of such blues and rock slide legends as Duane Allman, Johnny Winter, and Elmore James.

After seven house-rocking albums for Alligator, Dave Hole moves to the Blind Pig label--America's other established blues indie--for this solid, if somewhat predictable, release. In certain respects, the journeyman Australian slide guitarist is comparable to stalwarts such as George Thorogood, since his discs are nearly interchangeable yet none disappoint. Both artists also rely heavily on well-chosen covers. The slide demon taps into tracks from obvious inspirations such as Elmore James, Slim Harpo, and Robert Johnson, along with rearranged tunes written by the far less obvious likes of Willy Deville ("White Trash Girl"), Ivory Joe Hunter ("Since I Met You Baby"), and even Buddy Holly ("Think It Over"). But Hole's originals are plenty sturdy, as demonstrated by the opening riff-rocker "Rough Diamond Child" and the atypically tender ballad "Yours for a Song." Still, it's the sizzling solos that drive these tunes, and Hole's scorching tone--something like a mix of James and Rory Gallagher--torches everything it touches. He makes the guitar sing, howl, moan, or cry depending on the mood, but never lets his molten leads overwhelm the songs. The album-closing version of "I'm a King Bee" stings like the titular bug as Hole buzzes and burns through a showcase that shifts from grinding to gentle and back. The no-frills, three-piece backing band provides able accompaniment--that is, they stay out of the way--as Hole's passionate playing proves that the blues can be powerful and potent, even from a continent away. --Hal Horowitz