Gathering of the Tribes unites local bands

Gathering of the Tribes unites local bands

By Caroline Rohner, Staff Writer

For years, music enthusiasts have been struggling to expose the wealth of talent that often remains unnoticed in the local music scene. The Gathering of the Tribes CD might just garner the attention Rockford musicians deserve. Harmony Riley, 420, Ernie Hendrickson, Mulligan Stu, and The Heavils each contribute two new songs to create this unique compilation album.

The effort’s mastermind, Mike Bunjan of MedManMusic, stated in a press release: “The goal of this project is to celebrate the diversity of musical talent in Rockford. This CD is a declaration of the state of music here, and there’s a lot more where it came from.”

Harmony Riley is up first with the radio-friendly cuts, “I Don’t Want To Wait” and “Last Too Long.” The band’s pop rock flavor is reminiscent of fellow Rockford rockers, Cheap Trick. This is understandable since lead guitarist and vocalist Mike Nielsen and drummer Daxx Nielsen are the sons of Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen. The dynamic hard rock outfit, 420, follows with its trademark intelligent and intense style on “Run” and “Core.” These prove to be the most musically impressive tracks on the record.

Ernie Hendrickson supplies the diverse “Breathe and Be” and “Spiritual Power.” The former Seed Band frontman is difficult to classify because he combines R&B, bluegrass, rock, folk, and funk to fashion exotic and thought-provoking tunes.

“Runnin For You” and “I’m Sorry” by Mulligan Stu are undoubtedly the most entertaining songs on the collection. The pop-punk group succeeds by juxtaposing infectious, high-energy music with catchy lyrics.

Metal Blade Records recording artist, The Heavils, complete this musical jigsaw with “Big Slide” and “Party Like The Old Days.” These abrasive heavy metal numbers spotlight the band’s innovative and chaotic sound.

With such a wide spectrum of musical styles on Gathering of the Tribes, you are bound to find some songs you like… and some you don’t. Nevertheless, this CD is a great way to quickly get a taste of five local bands.

All of the groups will reunite for the WXRX SkyConcert Skybox on the 4th of July at Davis Park. Ernie Hendrickson is slated to start the show and will be followed by Mulligan Stu, Harmony Riley, and 420. After a break for the fireworks display, The Heavils will conclude the event.

Gathering of the Tribes can currently be purchased at each band’s live shows or through their respective Web sites.

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