Thursday, March 1, 2012

Microwave Dave & the Nukes -- "Last Time I Saw You"

Microwave Dave & the Nukes are a Huntsville, Alabama based trio, with 20+ years on the road and 6 previous albums under their belts. Microwave Dave Gallaher was born in Chicago, raised in Texas, served in Vietnam, studied at Berklee School of Music, and was mentored by Johnny Shines. The Nukes are Rick Godfrey (on bass and harmonica) and James Irvin (on drums and percussion). Dave is the principal writer, penning ten of the 13 tracks here. There are two covers and one joke track.

The sound and vibe are similar to classic Omar & the Howlers fare, with driving and intelligent lyrics over energetic heavy guitar work. They open with "Drinking Since Nine," which gets things off to a rousing start and leads into “Jesus Was Smart,” which has clever lyrics and has a Stax/Volt Memphis sound. It may be the best song on the disc. The cover of “I’ve Got A Bet With Myself” sounds like ’70’s Savoy Brown blues. Then the band changes speeds to pull out a vintage Delta-style ballad titled “The Worst Thing,” with Gallaher playing Cigtone guitar. Then the band covers Billy C. Farlow’s “Alabama Saturday Night,” which features Godfrey's harmonica. “Last Time I Saw You,” the title track, follows and has a a cool Buddy Holly-ish garage feel to it. “All Night Boogie” is exactly what it sounds like it should be--a ripping good time with everybody playing full out. This one will translate great to the stage. “Time to Romp and Stomp” and “Goin’ Downtown” are both gems of the boogie blues. They show that Dave & the Nukes have learned how to entertain an audience from all those years on the road. Then the guys swing the blues on the Memphis-style “Cadillac Ride,” with Gallaher on Lowebow guitar. “Vagabundos” marks a shift as Dave channels Dick Dale and sings in Spanish about "vagabonds." Things wrap up with the final track, “Rafferty,” which is a long melodic instrumental that sounds like a lost track by the Butterfield Blues Band.

All in all, a fine outing. If you love your blues loud and passionate, this disc is right up your alley. The press sheet I got quotes none other than Stephen King, who writes about Microwave Dave: "That electric slide guitar will change your way of life."

You can buy this cd at

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