The Live One
Alligator (2003) ALCD 4890
12 tracks, 73 minutes.
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: May 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
Australia's Dave Hole has never been accused of underplaying, and with his new 'live' set from Alligator, anyone with a penchant for over-the-top slide guitar pyrotechnics should find plenty to grab on to and enjoy for a long time. Hole's approach is somewhat different as he literally tackles the guitar neck with his left hand reaching down from above as opposed to coming up from underneath. Recorded in Chicago at Buddy Guy's Legends and Chord On Blues in neighboring St. Charles, Illinois, and the Charles Hotel in Perth, Australia between late 2001 and summer of 2002, support comes from
Roy Daniels on bass, Bob Patient's keyboards, and drumming from J. Mattes or Ric Eastman over the lengthy set. Leading off with Jenny Lee, Hole quickly lays down the ground rules that follow with searing slide over a thudding beat, and while the pace rears back for both Demolition Man and the longtime favorite Short Fuse Blues, blistering guitar remains well out front. The shortest and most focused track is a shuffling Keep Your Motor Running where Hole manages gritty work
without overloading the proceedings as he does on Every Girl I See, Up All Night Thinking, and the old Hendrix gem, Purple Haze. The focus shifts for Berwick Road, a milder and much more melodic piece with some fine harmonic effects, then a broomdusting theme settles over Take Me To Chicago where Patient lends a workmanlike piano backing before the guitar takes off into the stratosphere. How Long grinds over a slow and unsettling groove and the set closes out with William Harris' Bullfrog Blues, although it's doubtful Harris ever envisioned the simultaneous scat vocal/guitar take featured here. While Dave Hole is a gifted guitar slinger, his vocals unfortunately haven't evolved much and can grate the ears over a full disc, and even though his crew manages the support necessary, the plodding beats are more akin to rock bands. For those who favor an endless assault of mind numbing guitar prowess with little depth, The Live One will fully satisfy. Dave Hole makes Johnny Winter sound like a blues purist. www.alligator.com for a full
catalog of recordings, artists, tour schedules, and lots of blues-related gadgets.
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