A taste of modern country: The Jack Michael Band

The Jack Michael Band features (from left) Tommy Yates Mikal Jahaaski, Jack Michael and Donnie Hough.

Jack Michael started playing the guitar at 12 years of age, so it’s no surprise to see how far he’s gotten in the local music scene by the ripe old age of 22.

“I’m from Punta Gorda originally,” Michael said. “My dad knows a lot of musicians around here, so he got me playing in bars when I was 13 and 14. I live in Port Charlotte right now, but I’m planning to move to Nashville next year.”

In addition to the guitar, Michael plays drums, piano, bass guitar, mandolin and banjo. His Jack Michael Band has been together for about four years.

“I started out wanting to be a solo act, but as we started building the foundation behind me I found that I’ve got some really great guys — and musicians — with me,” he said. “I want to keep them, so instead of it being Jack Michael, we’re now the Jack Michael Band. We’re a team. We’re a unit.”

That unit includes Jack Michael on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Donnie Hough on lead guitar and backing vocals, Mikal Jahaaski on drums and Tommy Yates on bass.

“I call our sound modern country,” Michael said. “I’d say the artists that have most influenced me are Jason Aldean, George Strait, Randy Rhodes, Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban. They’re my influences on playing guitar and songwriting. We play covers, but perform a lot of original, too. I’d say it’s about 50-50 — half covers, half originals on a show night at a bar.”

Michael added if his band is at a festival and playing a 45-minute set, the focus will be on original tunes, but either way, audiences can expect an energetic show from The Jack Michael Band.

“We like to throw out a couple of slower songs for couples who like to get out on the floor and dance,” he said. “But we like to keep the momentum going, too. We like to keep things upbeat, the crowd engaged and we really like to have a good time.”

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