Photo of Microwave Dave & the NukesMicrowave Dave & the Nukes

Formed in 1989, Microwave Dave & the Nukes' blues apprenticeship included a three-year stint as Jerry 'Boogie' McCain's back-up band, interspersed with shows backing Bo Diddley both of whose styles are integral flavors in the band's recipe. Microwave Dave produced Gotta Get A Cadillac as a cassette release in 1991; the album was re-released and promoted world-wide on compact disc by Australia's Full Moon Records in 1999.

Producer Johnny Sandlin, legendary in his work with the Allman Brothers Band, Delbert McClinton, and Widespread Panic among others, recorded the group's next release, Goodnight, Dear, for Ice House (BluesWorks) Records. The 1995 release propelled the band to Europe when their cover of Bo Diddley's "Road Runner" became a soccer stadium smash in Paris and subsequently a solid dance hit across America. Goodnight, Dear was re-released in Europe as Nothin' But The Blues on the Dixie Frog label. Two other selections from the album appeared in the film soundtrack of The Poor & Hungry, which has enjoyed broadcast on the Independent Film Channel, but "Road Runner" has remained the top seller and most-leased record in the Icehouse catalog to date. Johnny Sandlin returned to produce 2000's Wouldn't Lay My Guitar Down for Duck Tape Records, on which Microwave Dave fronted an all-star band of veteran players from the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Cowboy, and Little Richard's band. The title cut and a swampy cover of Roosevelt Syke's "Don't Care Blues" became staples on XM Satellite Radio's 'Bluesville' channel, and "Hat" was later covered by Little Milton. Atomic Electric was released on the Distant Farmer label in 2003.

Producer/engineer Tom Gallaher returned to the band's own players and, utilizing vintage analog methodology and gear, garnered the best critical responses for the band's music to date and Atomic Electric found a home on many blues program playlists. The album scored well at Canada's REAL BLUES Awards, gathering wins in the 2003 Southern blues releases and Southern blues band categories, and naming Microwave Dave "2003 Southern Blues Guitarist Of The Year/Modern." "Trail Of Tears", the LoweBow instrumental composed by Dave for the album, received a nomination in the "Best Other Instrument" category from Nashville's Music City Blues Society in the fall of 2004.

American Peasant is Microwave Dave's fifth cd, a live recording documenting the groundbreaking solo electric blues style Dave has developed utilizing real-time loop accompaniment. The Distant Farmer release, also produced by Tom Gallaher, received excellent notices internationally and is the premier release showcasing live looping in the traditional blues idiom.

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Microwave Dave and the Nukes at Harbor Tavern

BY RICK GRANT - Entertaining U Newspaper, 3/3/05

The blues juggernaut called Microwave Dave & the Nukes rolled into the Harbor Tavern for a show last Saturday night. If you were not there, you missed a dynamite, world-class blues show.

Dave Gallaher and company were on their way down to Daytona Beach for a gig, and Harbor Tavern’s Dresser Dan was able to book them after many years of missed connections and opportunities. Dan was very excited to finally get the band to perform in his club.

Microwave Dave Gallaher is the real deal—an accomplished world-renowned blues artist who is now touring with a new drummer, James Irvin, who looks like a boy, but this kid is a smoking traps master with bull chops. Longtime MD&TN member Rick Godfrey plays bass and holds down a solid groove. From the band’s first song, I could tell that this amalgam was a first-class outfit.

Dave comes from Huntsville, Alabama, and formed his MD&TN outfit in 1989 with Mike Alexander on drums and Rick Godfrey on bass and harmonica. Since then, Dave has been burning up the blues circuits and festivals with his guitar virtuosity, authentic blues voice and taut trio presentation.

In 1991, Dave released the group’s first CD, titled Gotta Get A Cadillac. The album was reissued in 1999 by Full Moon Records of Sydney, Australia. During the band’s early years, Dave formed an alliance with Jerry “Boogie” McCain and the Nukes became McCain’s regular backup band.

Then in the mid-1900s, Bo Diddley used The Nukes as his backup band. This got Dave international recognition and in 1994, Dave signed with Ice House Records of Memphis, recording his second CD titled Goodnight, Dear.

On this recording, Dave used the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section players and led to Dave’s version of Bo Diddley’s Road Runner, which became the theme song for the Paris Princes pro soccer team. MD&TN found themselves in France touring to support the song, which had become a hit in Europe.

In 1995, Dave was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award for Keeping The Blues Alive In Radio for his two weekly programs heard on Huntsville’s NPR Station. MD&TN also received the Alabama Blues Society’s Blues Achievement Award in 2001.

In 1998, MD&TN entered Johnny Sandlin’s Duck Tape Studio to begin recording a new album titled Wouldn’t Lay My Guitar Down. Two songs from the album were selected for XM Satellite Radio— Roosevelt Syke’s Don’t Care Blues and the title track. The two songs received high demand rotation on XM’s blues station. Full Moon then reissued Gotta Get A Cadillac.

The band’s appearance on The Big Red Boat’s Blues Cruise led to an invitation from Harley Davidson to perform and represent the company at Daytona Beach’s Bike Week Ride-In Custom Show—an event the band has played three years in a row and will play for this year’s Bike Week soiree.

MD&TN played two hours straight as their first set. At the break, I chatted with Dave about his appearance at the Harbor Tavern.

“This is my first time playing in Jacksonville. Hopefully, I will be back in the near future. I’d heard that you had great blues fans here in Jacksonville, and the Harbor audience were very enthusiastic for our playing,” he said. He then gave me a copy of his solo CD, on which Dave played his cigar box guitar, titled American Peasant. It was recorded live at the Kaffeeklatsch Bar in Huntsville, Alabama.

During MD&TN’s extended first set, Dave stepped out in front of the stage and played his aardvark LoweBow’s cigar box broom handle guitar using a slide. It produced a powerful deep-throated sound and in Dave’s hands, he made it sing the language of blues, which only proves that a blues guitar virtuoso can make strings strung across a 2x4 or two broom handles sound like the best blues guitar made. His solo set on the cigar box guitar was amazing.

Dave has a choice selection of guitars including a massive Epiphone hollow body jazz guitar, a Strat, a Gibson Flying V, and a couple of other electric guitars custom made for Dave’s eclectic style of playing, which includes many older styles including his tribute to Les Paul. Hopefully, Dan can get MD&TN back again. Perhaps by then, the word of mouth will have gotten around that this cat is well worth seeing live. Check out my website www.rickatnight.com and Entertaining U for Dave’s next appearance in Jax. Also, to learn more about MD&TN, you can log onto Dave’s website: www.microwavedave.com.

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