Australia's original international bluesman, Dave Hole brings his lauded slide guitar skills to this year's Blues On Broadbeach Music Festival.
Dave stands as a true pioneer for the popularity of Australian blues music and musicians overseas. He was the first non US-based artist to be signed to the iconic Chicago blues record label Alligator, and counts Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett and the late Gary Moore among his fans.
Yet for Dave, it's all been an exceptionally fortunate run of good luck. “I never aspired to do any of the things that I've done, it's been largely an accident,” he says.
“It was a lucky break when I made my first album and sent it over to Guitar Player Magazine; they picked up on it and put me in touch with Alligator [Records] and it's all kind of led me along by the nose.
“I've not been one of those persons [sic] who sits down and makes my plan for how I'm going to improve my market share and get along. I've had an accidental career... and I'm still the same way. I don't plan too much and I'm just happy to be out there doing what I love.”
At 70 years of age and having been active in music since forming his first group Broken Habits in 1965, Dave is rightly considered a legend and elder statesman of Australian blues.
At the end of April Dave released his tenth studio album entitled 'Goin' Back Down'; it reflects a change of pace for Dave in how he produces material now. “It was a deliberate change not so much in direction but in production and the way to do it,” he says.
“I've had in mind for a long time that it would be great to do an album at my own pace, in a leisurely way. The other nine albums I've done have all been done really quickly, which is fine, but you sometimes think you'd have liked to have a bit more time in the studio.
“This time I thought I'd allow myself the luxury [of not having] a set time-frame. Studios are expensive; if you're not Fleetwood Mac you don't want to be in a studio for eight months paying those rates, so the idea was to get my own home studio and do a lot of the work there.”
Three years in the making, 'Goin' Back Down' is the album Dave has always wanted to make and although it's not the first time Dave has produced his own record, it is the first time he has also played the role of mixing engineer. “It took a long time because I had to learn to engineer the album,” Dave says.
“[Engineering] is a science, and it's an art I think more than anything because you have to know the technical stuff but then the best engineers – and I certainly don't put myself in this category in any sense – are quite gifted; they can do extraordinary things to improve the sound of what the performers do.”
Dave will be performing at the Blues On Broadbeach Music Festival this week and says he's looking forward to entertaining audiences with a set-list that traverses his new material as well as his extensive back catalogue.
“I did [Blues On] Broadbeach quite a few years [ago], I can't recall exactly when, but I just remember it was a great festival and a really great experience,” he says.
“There was a really excellent audience and the whole vibe was fantastic, so I'm looking forward to it in general terms and they've got a great line-up this year so I'll be rubbing shoulders with some other great blues players and that will be fantastic.”