Outside Looking In



Chances are somebody has already labeled this guy the Australian Blue Thunder from Down Under. For some reason that title keeps kicking around in my head as I listen to this cat. But I honestly can’t think of a much better handle to attach to somebody who attacks music like Dave Hole.

I don’t know what’s going on in Australia to give anyone these blues. But the powerful emotions he squeezes from the neck of his guitar aren’t the kind that could be forced out, even at the ugly end of a gun, by anyone who didn’t possess the authority to speak a certain truth.

Dave Hole plays the kind of hardcore electric blues that is steeped in the Delta tradition as far as the feeling and the rhythm of the music is concerned, but with considerably more voltage and electricity. That probably sounds like what happened to the blues once it hit Chicago and was rewired by masters such as Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon, and the Chicago style is somewhat in evidence. But for some reason, Hole sounds a little closer to Texas. Considering how hot and barren the outback of Australia can be, that might explain some of the similarity in sound. Mind you, this is just a guess.

But whatever the reason, the important thing to know about this CD is that Dave Hole, who used to be a fairly regular visitor at the old Sisko’s bar in Taylor before it closed down, is one of those blues guitarists who plays like someone who doesn’t have a choice. And that’s the only way the blues can honestly be played.

Keith A. Owens is a Detroit-based freelance writer and musician. E-mail him at letters@metrotimes.com.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.