Blind Pig Records / Stony Plain Records
Ever throw a CD on the player and after a listen or two you end up wishing it had been an all instrumental effort? Well that's where I'm at with Dave Hole's Rough Diamond.
When it comes to blistering guitar work, the kind that threatens to set your CD player aflame, Hole is among the best flamethrowers out there. His work on the electric guitar is simply flawless. This ain't no wimpy little four cylinder guitar player. Put a guitar in this guy's hands and he starts pounding on on all eight cylinders.
From the opening Rough Diamond Child through Can't Stop Loving You, to the final cut I'm A King Bee, Hole simply shows he's one of the best blues guitar slingers to come out of Australia in years.
OK, so that's the good news.
The bad news, I'm not particularly enamoured with Hole's vocals. They lack the growl I like in the blues, and at times it seems his voice adds little to a number. I kept finding myself waiting for the red hot guitar solos. An example is Vintage Wine where quite frankly I felt Hole's voice simply got lost.
I'd really love this CD as an instrumental effort, but with the vocals included I just have to deduct marks.
Still guitar fans will want to check it out at www.davehole.com. When Hole lets his guitar do his talking, then it's a voice you'll want to hear.
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Reviews first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Aug. 8, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada