Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review "Last Time I Saw You" - Microwave Dave and the Nukes

By Rick J Bowen
Dave Gallaher, a.k.a. Microwave Dave, is such a fixture in the community of Huntsville, Alabama that in 2009 the local baseball club, The Huntsville Stars, created a bobble head in his honor. Well guitar man and DJ, Microwave Dave and his power trio The Nukes have just released their seventh album, "Last Time I Saw You." Dave is once again joined by long time songwriting partner Rick Godfrey on bass and harmonica and the exciting young drummer James Irvin. The thirteen song set impeccably recorded by Jeremy Stephens at Clearwave Studios is no doubt one the best self produced blues and roots albums of the year.

Right out the gate opening track "Drinkin' Wine Since Nine," hits with a growling guitar, Dave's unmistakable rumblin' baritone and one of the greasiest second line grooves ever, conjuring up all the ghosts of the delta for a party. Dave and Godfrey are poets with a rapier wit delivering scouring sarcasm on southern fried slide guitar and house rockin' riffs. Lines like "Jesus was smart not to mate," and "you're the worst thing that ever happened to the blues," make it hard to decide which of the three great tracks, "Jesus Was Smart," "The Worst Thing," and "Last Time I Saw You," as the winner for the ultimate "Man Cave" anthem.

Kit man Irvin displays his arsenal of chops on the Bo Diddley beat of "Alabama Saturday Night," and the supersonic "All Night Boogie." So great to hear the drums up front on a blues album, as the genre is often so very guitar centric. The album closes with a heartfelt instrumental simply titled "Rafferty," no doubt an ode to the late great Gerry Rafferty delivered with dynamic gusto.

Last Time I Saw You is a great album, and should no doubt bring about many first time views and listens to these veteran blues men.

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