Airbag—A River District special

Airbag—A River District special

By Andy Ryall, Music Writer

For the band Airbag, the past year was a good one. The talented foursome enjoyed making numerous stage appearances, including gigs at CJ’s, LT’s, Lungo’s Landing, Mary’s Place, and Shooters North. Winning a Best of Rockford Award and having the honor to entertain at Rockford’s famous On The Waterfront was the icing on the cake.

The diversity within the group is apparent in their music and live shows. With a sound that is as unique and textured as our community, it is not surprising that they have been able to weather many seasons on the Rock. Their music is not harsh or cliquish like many are. Rather, it is a textured variety of original rock, with bluesy, sometimes funky appeal. Their shows are entertaining because you never know if they are going to play a high-energy song like “Get Down James Brown,” or the intoxicating bluesy song “House Full.” Their music is innovative, original and with two singer/songwriters, it has enough multi-layered creativity to appeal to many tastes.

Dan Trotter and Eric Bergstrom are engaging front men at live shows. Dan’s hypnotic guitar playing is clearly one of the best in town, and Eric’s strong vocals and pulsating, rhythmic bass are rich with talent. Together, these two write most of the songs. Jason Jeras plays drums, operates Crooked Post Studios and does most of the scheduling and promotion. He is a highly-experienced drummer who knows how to hold it all together. Chuck Reeder adds variety to the sound with his well-placed keyboard. He adds the salt to this healthy musical feast.

The band sees great potential for Rockford’s music scene and is especially interested in the opportunities that may arise out of an increased support for the River District. “We’ve been inspired by that part of town and hope to help increase support for it,” says Eric. “The area is really very beautiful. I don’t know why anyone would speak so badly about our city.”

Airbag is well suited for the River District’s culture. One of their favorite and most frequently visited venues is CJ’s Lounge, just blocks from the river. “Shows there always feel good,” says Eric. “And I just love the atmosphere of the area.” The River District helps define Airbag, and the group help bring vitality to that beautiful part of our community.

With a successful CD release party at Shooters North Jan. 25, and a line up of shows in the coming months, the band is off to another good year. Their new CD, titled What’s It All About? is a collection of five original songs and three covers. All the songs have strong vocals and high-quality music.

“House Full” has an alluring sound with strong captivating lyrics. “Sun Son” is a lively rock tune with just the right amount of lyrical emotion. “Sac ’o’ Bags” is a short, groovy rock tune. “Pesky Choon” is a funky, bluesy song with strong vocals and an excellent display of Dan’s guitar playing, and “Janie Girl” is a slower, more serious song with the ability to touch the listener’s emotions. The three cover songs are Ringo Starr’s “No No Song,” the King of the Hill theme song, and a powerful version of Pink Floyd’s “In the Flesh.” For a free CD come to any live show or visit

Upcoming Show

Saturday, April 26: Pan Heads in Oregon, with unknown.

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