You want an isolated childhood? Try growing up in Perth in the Nineteen-Fifties, with nothing but the vast Indian Ocean to your west, the dessicated Australian Outback to your east, and not a whole lot else to your north and south. And yet a Muddy Waters album found its way to young Dave Hole’s ears, and after a false start or two Hole developed a powerful, idiosyncratic slide guitar technique.
Though a southpaw, Hole plays right-handed, keeping his fingers on top of the neck for slide passages. Apparently this is partly to compensate for a finger injury. It also reflects a certain scarcity of guitar teachers in Perth during Hole’s youth, which forced him to work a lot of things out on his own. I’d say the effort paid off.
After spending over two decades touring clubs and bars Down Under, Hole sent his self-produced album Short Fuse Blues to Guitar Player magazine, where comparisons with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert King helped him land a deal with Alligator Records and a measure of international fame. I’ve never seen him live, but from all reports he’s a monster onstage, so I’ll have to fill in that gap at first opportunity.