While subtlety isn't exactly his strong suit -- especially live -- it's also not what Dave Hole fans expect out of their Australian slide guitar slinger. The word "ferocious" best describes his over-the-fret, over-the-top technique, and what was merely intense on his studio albums gets kicked up a few notches in concert. Like George Thorogood, Hound Dog Taylor, or Rory Gallagher (whose vocal phrasing is also an influence), he's nailed his niche, best described as explosive Elmore James. Hole happily plays to his strengths without pushing the boundaries past where his fans comfortably expect. In other words, if you're already hooked through any of his six previous studio discs, you'll want to own this inflammatory live set. Even on a slow blues like "Short Fuse Blues," Hole cranks out squealing, screeching sounds with machine gun velocity. Covers of Willie Dixon's "Every Girl I See," "Bullfrog Blues," (a longtime Gallagher concert favorite) and a nearly seven-minute "Purple Haze" provide familiar songs over which he lays his slide shenanigans to deliver high-octane, crowd-pleasing thrills. Things calm down -- temporarily -- on the Celtic-styled instrumental ballad "Berwick Road," the album's only respite from the fuel-igniting guitar sparks that shoot out of Hole's frets. The super-charged performance is a lot to handle for all but the most committed. However, if you're already on the Hole-train, The Live One is a locomotive-sized dose of what you've bought a ticket for.
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AllMusic Review by Hal Horowitz