Blue Monday (Oz edition)

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.

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One thought on “Blue Monday (Oz edition)

  1. Scott Stiefel says:

    Hah – yeah, Perth’s a thousand miles from anywhere. North is fifteen hundred miles of desert and ocean out to Java, and southwards you’d have to go clear over the pole to South America to find another town or city.

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