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Microwave Dave & the Nukes - Down South Nukin’
Rockin’ Camel Music 2007

By Ben Cox

Microwave Dave Gallaher is a musical veteran who’s been plugging away as a slide guitarist since before a lot of the newer guys who are heaping up a lot of success on blues radio were even born. Gallaher is steeped in the traditions of the Deep South and Chicago. He has a laundry list of folks he’s had the pleasure of playing with and has the chops to show for it.

Recorded live at the 2nd Street Music Hall in Gadsden, Alabama in April, August, and November 2005, this 12-song set is loud, raucous, great party music that will find you tapping your feet along to the beat. Dave’s band, the Nukes are about as in the pocket as you get, and for the power-trio set up, they are about as solid as any big band around. Their style is steeped in the slide guitar work of J.B. Hutto, Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor and may ring a little bit familiar with the fans of Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials. In fact, two Hutto songs appear on this disc “20% Alcohol” and “Hip Shakin’” which are handled beautifully.

It is also apt that Gallaher tip his hat towards the man who gave him his start, Bo Diddley, and the song that got Microwave Dave & the Nukes international notoriety, “Road Runner.” At almost seven minutes, the song may get a little bit repetitive and is actually poorly suited as the introductory track.

Bob Dylan, Duke Robillard, and “Hey Little Girl” (a very common jukin’ song for the familiar” all make their appearance on the album in fun party fashion. Gallaher also shows some more of his horn driven R&B roots when he attacks the Doc Pomus/Duke Robillard “Body and Fender Man.”

Overall this record is a fun, evenly paced party band record. Gallaher’s gutsy voice is easy on the ears and doesn’t grate, his guitar playing refuses to get pigeon-holed into any single style which matches his in-the-pocket rhythm section. Why these guys haven’t gotten much national exposure outside their native Alabama is beyond me, but one thing’s for sure, they sound like a great live act. This album exudes an energy and ambiance that I don’t think would work well in a studio because of the balls-out style of the band. Plus, the studio, to me sounds like it would confine this band’s style, which they seem to feed off of the crowd that you can hear at the end of the tracks. I mean you can almost smell the stale, thick smoke and the beer bred for a down south juke.

If this is a style that you like, which harkens back to the masters of the Mississippi Delta at times and to the Chitlin Circuit at others, you’ll like this record.

You can find Dave’s CD at  by visiting the Nukes artist page, CD Baby, or give him a call, as posted via his website at  at 1-877-368-7428, or if you’re lucky; catch them at a show.

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