News

Calhoun Community College to host free concert featuring Microwave Dave and The Nukes

September 21, 2018

Huntsville, AL – Calhoun Community College is hosting a free concert for the community on Thursday, October 4, at 6:00 p.m. in the courtyard of the Huntsville campus, 102 Wynn Dr. NW, Huntsville, AL.

The free, family-friendly outdoor concert will be hosted by the college’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honors Society and will feature musician Microwave 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 worldwide on compact disc by Australia’s Full Moon Records in 1999.

Twenty years of performances in the U.S and Europe and six albums-with more on the way-have helped Microwave Dave & The Nukes establish a wide multinational audience. Venues vary from French soccer stadiums to Bike Week in Daytona Beach, from blues cruises on the Big Red Boat to neighborhood saloons, but the thousands of shows delivered by the band all reflect one core element: the heritage blues music enjoys as a lifter of spirits. As Microwave Dave puts it: “Blues is America’s first-and still best-self-help program.”

Microwave Dave (Dave Gallaher) was born in Chicago,0 raised in Texas and has lived most of his life in the Deep South. His first performances were in the children’s choir at First Presbyterian Church in Amarillo, Texas, and he heard his first blues songs there on late-night radio. After moving to Dallas, then Houston, Dave took up ukulele, followed by his father’s old Stella guitar when the uke broke. After a few accordion lessons, he began studying trumpet in the 7th grade, continuing on several brass instruments in school while picking guitar at home and listening to the all-night blues dj’s on KYOK. During his sophomore year in high school, he was switched from French horn into the drum section for football season, and began playing a drum kit as well, landing a job in the Houston Oilers’ Dixieland band, called the Supersonic Philharmonic during the AFL’s inaugural season.

Rick Godfrey plays bass, neck-rack harmonica and sings backup vocals in the band. A Huntsville native, Rick worked for twenty years as a visual artist in stained glass and woodworks in his own shops. His lifelong desire perform music was first exercised when he was drafted to play bass in a 7th grade talent show, and he took up acoustic guitar during high school, writing songs and occasionally performing in public. Dave began working for Rick in 1987 and the band was born during lunch-hour jams in the woodshop, Rick returning to the bass. When the group suddenly found itself booked on a public radio fundraiser, his on-the-job training in professional musicianship began in front of audiences hungry for blues. Since no formal instruction was involved, Rick developed a unique thumb-and-fingers style that is conceptually his own.

James Irvin has taken over the drum-chair in the Nukes, beginning with performances at the Trail of Tears Ride on September 2004, replacing Skip Skipworth after his departure from the band following six and one-half years of fine performances. James was born into a musical family in Decatur, Alabama, and his first performances were at home jam sessions, where he played snare drum from age 4 onward. His eighth birthday got him his first drum kit, but by 10, he was learning to play bass and guitar as well on a diet of classic rockers such as Buddy Holly and His Crickets, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Dire Straits. This experience allowed him to secure his first professional performances at the young age of 15, working local dances, parties and VFW clubs with more experienced musicians.

“We are extremely excited to host a free, family-friendly concert of this magnitude for our community,” commented Calhoun Interim President Dr. Joe Burke. “The students and their sponsors have worked extremely hard putting together this event, and we hope that everyone will come out and join us for this a great show,” said Burke.

Attendees are encouraged to picnic baskets, blankets and lawn chairs. Calhoun Community College is an alcohol-free, tobacco-free campus.

For additional information on the event, call Ragan Chastain at 256-890-4755 or Dana Burton at 256-713-4873