Slide guitarist Dave Hole kicks up a fun ruckus on Ticket to Chicago, his fourth album for Alligator Records. This native of Perth (Australia), the Chicago blues label's first overseas signing, realizes for the first time his dream of playing with Chicago blues musicians -- bassist Johnny B. Gayden (Albert Collins), pianist Tony Z (Larry McCray, Buddy Guy), and drummer Ray "Killer" Allison (Buddy Guy), along with (on several tracks) a horn section and harmonica (courtesy of Billy Branch). The opening "Out of Here" serves as the starter's pistol -- Hole and company play too fast, too loud, and sound too rowdy on just about every one of these 14 songs (13 Hole originals and William Harris' "Bullfrog Blues," here dedicated by Hole to late blues-rock guitarist Rory Gallagher). In other words, Ticket to Chicago is a wonderfully high-spirited blues album, the kind to listen to when you're in the mood to go out and raise some hell but you're either too tired, too broke, or too ripped up to actually go out and do it.
Ticket to Chicago Review
by Chris Slawecki