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Outside Looking In

Dave Hole

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Album Review

Slide-slinging hotshot Dave Hole doesn't stray far from the basics on his sixth album for Alligator, which ought to please his established fans just fine. After all, he's not striving to bring new depth to high-energy blues-rock; he's happy to just keep the fire burning by whipping off biting, energetic riffs that slash and sting with the nimbleness of Duane Allman and the uncut fury of Elmore James, two of his most obvious influences. Although the majority of the album is self-penned, it's easy to hear strains of Rory Gallagher and Johnny Winter in Hole's attack. A few acoustic tracks — like the languid "Nobody," where the singer sounds a bit like Leon Redbone, and "Get a Job" — ease the sonic aggressiveness, but not for long. Hole's songwriting won't win him any comparisons to Willie Dixon, but who's going to argue when he plows through a simplistic Bo Diddley beat on "Insomniac" with pile-driving force and a vocal similarity to Eric Clapton, evoking Slowhand's "Willie and the Hand Jive." Even on ballads, like the beautifully languorous "Out of My Reach," Hole tosses in a flame-throwing solo reminiscent of David Lindley's work with Jackson Browne. Covers of B.B. King's "You Move Me So" and Jimmy McCracklin's "He Knows the Rules" become frameworks for Hole's fiery pyrotechnics. He's not changing the world, but with Outside Looking In, Dave Hole's just making it a little jumpier. Sure to enliven any party, this is fuel-injected high-quality house-rockin' music that'll blow the roof off any shindig.

Biography

Born: 30 March 1948 in Heswall, England

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s

Australian slide guitarist Dave Hole is noted for his energetic, high-volume rock & roll/blues music and unusual playing style. Though left-handed, Hole plays guitar right-handed and developed a technique to compensate for a finger injury in which he places his fingers over the top...
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Outside Looking In, Dave Hole
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