Concert Review: JT & The Mild Heat at HMAC

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Last week I provided some of my live music tips, and this week I have been putting them to good use.

So, You’re Going to the Show: 6 Tips for Live Shows

Last Friday night I headed out to one of my absolute favorite local venues: The Stage on Herr, a.k.a. HMAC to catch Harrisburg-based band, JT & The Mild Heat, for their last performance of 2016.

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Taking from my live music tips I arrived early and made sure to secure my favorite spot at the bar (the very back) and ordered up a $3 St. Pauli Girl. No, it’s not the best beer on tap at HMAC but for that tightened Christmas budget it is the best bang for your buck. Hopefully I don’t catch too much flack from my fellow contributors who are all well-versed in the world of craft beer.

I have seen JT & The Mild Heat a few times before but, it had been a while so I was excited to see the guys again and hear them play.

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If you have never seen them before, JT & The Mild Heat create a lot of sound for a 3-piece band. They describe themselves as Americana Blues-Punk but, if you ask me, this is straight up no filler rock n’ roll. These are well-constructed songs that don’t over complicate the sound and paired with the stage presence of the three, create a great live experience. While they play mostly original songs you can always count on them to throw in a cover or two into their set but putting their own twist on it.

The JT stands for Joe Tertel, the front man and guitar player in the band who has a beautiful Fender Telecaster slung over his should and wah pedal at his feet to bring through his blues style riffs and solos. It matches well with his raspy vocals and engaged stage presence.

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But, what about the Mild Heat?

Ryan Pudloski on drums and Matt Daly on the bass guitar bring in a fast paced, high energy punk rock sound that reminded me of a mix between Social Distortion and Guttermouth. Matt and Ryan both howl out background vocals and typically spend their time between songs drinking beer and making witty remarks, often about themselves, providing a few good laughs while everyone prepares for the next song. The mixture of Matt’s punchy bass lines that I could feel in my gut and Ryan’s punk rock inspired drumming kept the songs of heartbreak and blues at a tempo that creates some of the best no nonsense rock n’ roll music in the area.

One of the great things about this band is the mix of music genres they bring, and you can see it on stage in their personalities. While singing lyrics like, “the day I met you it was all downhill,” or “if I ever see your face again it’ll be too soon,” takes the emotional draw from blues guitar and lyrics and slaps it together with punk rock groves that will make you want to dance, clap your hands and sing along. After a few St. Pauli Girl brews I know that I sure was!

That was the final show of 2016, and I look forward to seeing what 2017 holds for these guys.

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Make sure you follow JT & The Mild Heat on their Facebook page for show announcements and check out some of their recorded tracks.

I highly recommend my favorite song, “24 and 1” as a good starting point.

PLUS: Mark your calendars for Saturday, Jan. 14 when HMAC welcomes The Bo Deadlys & The Jellybricks. You can check out the full HMAC schedule on their website for some of the greatest live shows in Harrisburg!

Micah Jacobs
Author: Micah Jacobs

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