Watching Microwave Dave play guitar is a little like watching a hummingbird dart from flower to flower in your back yard. You can catch glimpses of his hands as he picks and strums seemingly effortless blues music. But to really see what his fingers are doing you’d need to employ one of those high speed slow motion cameras used to view hummingbirds in flight. His fingers are just that fast.
He just plays, and plays, and plays without a bad note in the bunch.
The night we saw him at the now closed Southside Cantina he employed several different stringed instruments one of which was a fretless 4 string. He played that slide-guitar style. Annabelle leaned over and remarked how precise the pitch of each note was despite the fact that we could see no visible frets. Truly impressive. Especially when one considers the speed of his playing.
Dave’s vocals blend with his music. I told Annabelle I could actually understand the performer’s lyrics with little effort on my part. Some people are tone deaf and I am often lyrics deaf. But not with Dave. His music and vocals worked together.
Dave added some percussion to his songs via a foot pedal… a bass drum like sound. When performed live, it's a useful and bottom-filling sound that adds to the rhythmic intensity of his songs.
He also electronically “looped” some of his music adding layers of bass notes, rhythm and finger picking to create a greater whole than possible with just a single instrument. It’s always an interesting process to watch, and many solo performers make use of this technology today. But I do think such techniques should be used sparingly without calling too much attention to itself. For while they add to the depth of the music, somehow, they detract from the spontaneity and variability that is created when an actual band plays. But this is just my opinion. Everyone salts music to taste! I enjoyed his music the most when it was just he, his humming-bird fingers and his guitar. Music to my ears.
Microwave Dave plays as a solo performer but you can also catch him in bands like The Nukes. Either way he and his music is something you will remember. If you haven’t heard this Huntsville music legend perform, we recommend you do.
date of visit: Aug 31, 2016