“No one on the current scene plays with the incendiary power he does” – ASSOCIATED PRESS.
“…..a one-way journey to sonic joy” – LIVING BLUES, USA.
“There’s no more explosive Blues guitar player in the world.” – ESQUIRE, USA.
“Exhilaratingly relentless…he produces solo upon blistering solo.” – GUITAR WORLD, USA.
“Slide guitar fanatics will have their brains blown out …. prepare to hear your jaw hitting the floor.” – BILLBOARD, USA.
“Magnificent, staggering, almost beyond belief” – GUITAR PLAYER, USA.
“….. he reigns supreme. His electric slide is without peer” – VINTAGE GUITAR, USA.
Dave Hole is an Australian Blues Rock slide guitarist who burst onto the international scene in 1991 with “Short Fuse Blues”, the first of his seven albums released on the prestigious Alligator Records label. He is widely regarded as one of the all time slide guitar greats whose playing is infused with the spirit of such legends as Elmore James, Duane Allman and Johnny Winter.
Nine successful albums and countless tours of the U.S. and Europe have solidified Hole’s stature as one of the very best slide guitarists playing today and seen him headlining festivals in America, Germany, Denmark, Holland, France, Poland, Russia and Switzerland. His two performances at the prestigious Leverkussen Blues Festival in Germany were televised nationally. Tours have also included performances in the UK, Brazil, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Czech Republic.
Dave Hole was born in England in 1948. At the age of four he moved with his family to Western Australia, settling in the hills outside of Perth, the place he still calls home. Being fairly isolated, his childhood was somewhat lonely and the young Hole sought solace in music via the family radio. He listened intently to the likes of Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers and Cliff Richards and the Shadows, being increasingly drawn to anything that featured a twangy guitar. By the age of eleven he had convinced his parents to buy him his first cheap instrument. He was immediately smitten - and so began a lifelong passion for music and guitar in particular.
At the age of sixteen a friend’s Muddy Waters record introduced him to the power of the blues and it wasn’t long before the pair resolved to form a band and set about getting their hands on as many blues records as they could find. What ensued was a voyage of discovery through Robert Johnson and Blind Willie Johnson to Elmore James, Otis Rush and BB King.
On leaving school Hole completed a degree in physics at the University Of Western Australia before being increasingly drawn into a life of music and by 1974 he was playing steadily around Perth and the country towns of Western Australia. In 1976 he broke the little finger of his left hand playing Australian Rules football. The mishap lead him to adopt his unusual slide guitar technique, whereby he places the slide on his left hand index finger and plays from over the top of the neck.
Fast forward to the day in 1990 when a chance encounter with recording engineer John Villani resulted in a session during which Hole and his band laid down 16 tracks in a single day. The aim was to produce a CD to satisfy demand from Hole’s growing number of local fans. On a whim Dave sent a copy to US “Guitar Player” magazine and was astounded to receive a call in the middle of the night from the then editor Jas Obrecht. Hole describes the conversation: “I literally fell out of bed when I realized it wasn’t a hoax. Jas was raving about my playing and promised “to give it the best review I’ve given anything in years.” The ensuing review commenced “Magnificent, staggering, almost beyond belief...” and concluded with “…what more could you ask?” “Guitar Player” then followed up with a July 1991 Dave Hole feature story.
Obrecht also tipped off Bruce Iglauer, president of Alligator Records, the world’s most prestigious blues label. When the deal was inked Dave Hole became the label’s first and only non U.S. based signing. Alligator then released “SHORT FUSE BLUES” to a world-wide audience. Almost overnight, Dave Hole became an international phenomenon.
Hole was soon gigging non-stop across America and Europe, leaving audiences spellbound wherever he went and drawing rave reviews from countless international publications, including Billboard, Rolling Stone, Downbeat and Guitar World. Similarly, he earned rapturous praise from the Associated Press and major US market dailys such as the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post.
And it wasn't just the critics who were paying attention. Metallica's Kirk Hammett named Dave Hole as one of his favourite guitarists, saying "His slide playing kills me.” People everywhere took notice. When veteran rock and blues guitarist Gary Moore heard SHORT FUSE BLUES he was so impressed that he sought out Dave to invite him to do two European tours together. They played stadiums and arenas and concluded with two memorable nights at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Hole’s records and live performances are jam packed with soaring slide guitar and passionate vocals. "Nothing interferes with Hole's searing guitar when he is in full flight," says Rolling Stone. Guitar World agrees, saying, "Hole produces solo upon blistering solo with slide work that is exhilaratingly relentless." "While many bottleneck players base their styles on a few patented patterns, Dave Hole sprays a steely fire all over the strings, navigating stratospheric leaps with the greatest of ease," wrote Guitar Player. "Hole has a molten tone that will harden into a hopeless tangle, then bust loose for some old-fashioned catharsis", said New York magazine, "He's a modernist mining a classic blues vein”. Blues Revue noted "If this guy played with any more feeling he'd have to go on Prozac. Dave Hole is not only a superb guitarist with a distinctive sound, he performs heart-felt vocals with the depth and credibility of any blues headliner touring today ... hard driving rocking blues ... he is electricity incarnate!"
Hole’s STEEL ON STEEL album was produced by Jim Gaines (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Luther Allison, Santana), and featured twelve original compositions. Down Beat said of the album, "Harrowing slide-guitar solos and rampaging vocals ... wickedly seductive, playfully inventive."
His next album was recorded in Chicago with some of that city's best blues players. The dynamic result of these sessions was TICKET TO CHICAGO. The album featured Hole's sizzling slide guitar playing and was fire-powered by the talents of bassist Johnny B. Gayden (Albert Collins), drummer Ray "Killer" Allison (Buddy Guy), and pianist Tony Z (Larry McCray, Buddy Guy). "It was incredible to be able to play with musicians of this caliber and it forced me to really extend myself," claims Hole, who even added horns (courtesy of legendary arranger Gene Barge) and harmonica (from Billy Branch) to a few songs.
Next came OUTSIDE LOOKING IN, containing 12 new tracks that bore further testimony to his astounding guitar virtuosity and further endeared him to his growing legions of fans.
Hole’s only live album to date, THE LIVE ONE, was recorded over two nights in Chicago and one night in Perth and captures the full-blooded excitement of his live show - a power-house representation of a one-of-a-kind talent.
WORKING OVERTIME was nominated for a prestigious American NAIRD Award and UNDER THE SPELL won an Australian ARIA Award.
When pressed for career highlights Hole cites “having the opportunity to jam with some of my heroes such as Buddy Guy and Albert Collins. There’s also the night that Otis Rush came to my show outside of Chicago and wound up joining me on stage for the entire second half.”
Dave Hole’s 10th album, GOIN’ BACK DOWN, will be released world-wide on April 27th on CD, LP and Digital. He will be playing a handful of Australian dates in May with band mates Rudy Miranda on drums and Ian Lees on bass.