If you weren't there, you should have been. Great night at the Imogene!

            Sara Jane Howland and Katy Newbill

            Photography by Katy Newbill (ktdidit)

 

             John Hart Project and Tyler Mac Band

             John Hart – Guitar and vocals

             Tyler Mac – Guitar and vocals

             Sean Peterson – Bass

             Owen Finley – Bass

             Tucker ZT – Drums

             Isaac Eady – Drums and keyboards

             Adam Cooper – Sax and keyboards

 

 

My voice is hoarse after a night of hollering, woo-hooing, and downright screaming at the Imogene Theatre in Milton, listening and watching and grooving to the musical offerings of the John Hart Project.

Katy Newbill and I were there to review the show for the Lost Sandal and won the lottery! These guys were fabulous, and the rest of the audience thought so too. We weren’t the only ones losing our voices!

It was my first time at the Imogene, and the first person I met was Kyle Verner, the manager,  who told me about the theatre. Originally an opera house, the Imogene Theatre, built in 1913, is currently owned by the Santa Rosa Historical Society. In addition to hosting concerts, the theatre is used for weddings, family reunions, and other events. 

Kyle Verner outside the Imogene Theater in Milton   https://www.facebook.com/TheImogeneTheatre/?fref=ts   Click Picture to Go To Imogene Theater Facebook Page

Kyle Verner outside the Imogene Theater in Milton  

https://www.facebook.com/TheImogeneTheatre/?fref=ts   Click Picture to Go To Imogene Theater Facebook Page

The main room is upstairs, has beautiful wooden floors, a balcony that spans three sides of the room, and fantastic acoustics—very much the small opera house. It's an intimate setting that allows a close view of the stage wherever one happens to be sitting.

The bar served beer, including two selections from the Pensacola Bay Brewery. Cajun Meat Train "New Orleans Cravin's To-GO" provided great food; the red beans and rice were wonderful. They also had some pulled pork nachos and other offerings. 

The sound was provided by Patty Briggs' Promotion and Sound (https://www.facebook.com/promotionandsound/)—it was amazing to watch how sound was managed by the soundman walking around with an iPad, making adjustments from all parts of the theatre!

 

Because the theatre was originally an opera house, the stage is particularly beautiful and provides a great space for the band. The John Hart Project, for this night, also included the Tyler Mac Band. The two bands intermingled, with musicians appearing on- and offstage for different numbers that featured their individual talents. 

The show opened with John Hart playing an acoustic solo, a sweet, lovely, folky song, "I'll Always Come Back to You." He was joined by Adam Cooper on sax for the second number, a kind of jazzy song, "Gotta Let the Music Flow." Sean Peterson on bass and Isaac Eady on drums joined them for the third song, "Scared of the Light," another nice, jazzy tune. The John Hart Project played some nice R&B and blues, with Adam Cooper playing sweet, sexy saxophone and John Hart playing soulful guitar while Peterson and Eady kept the groove solid.

Tyler Mac came onstage and joined John Hart for a great rendition of "Shoes," a nice bluesy tune. The magic of the two of them together doubled the energy of the audience.

Tucker ZT took over for Isaac Eady on the drums, and John Hart left the stage, leaving the Tyler Mac Band onstage. The band played some great blues numbers, R&B—great tuneage and strong guitar. John Hart returned to the stage for several numbers, and the band members had a chance to solo and show off their chops in a long number. Finley played some great funky bass with some cool fuzz effects; Cooper's soulful sax solo was incredible; Tucker ZT killed on the drums; and of course, Mac's guitar solos were electrifying.

John Hart rejoined the band for a nice swampy blues number, and then Isaac Eady joined on keyboards for an amazing cover of the Allman Brothers' "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed"—I could not stay in my seat!

For the finale, both bands came on stage and played the rest of the set—another half hour at least—and had the audience rocking out to a powerful finish and even returned for an encore. These guys obviously loved playing, and the audience loved hearing them play!

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