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Breaking the Band: Herrington 

Mandeville Group wins Gambit's First "Breaking the Band" contest

Breaking the Band with Herrington

7 p.m. Thu., Nov. 12

Republic New Orleans, 828 S. Peters St., 528-8282;

click to enlarge Mandeville-based Herrington self-released a debut album in - August.
  • Mandeville-based Herrington self-released a debut album in August.

In a region flush with musical talent, the Northshore rock group Herrington has found a winning formula.

  With a little more than a year under its belt, the band has released a debut album, built a fan base and is planning a summer tour across the South. The Northshore quartet was voted the top band in Gambit's Breaking the Band competition, presented by Republic New Orleans. Online voters chose Herrington's song "Get Up, Get Out" as their top pick.

  Having all played in various bands in Mandeville since junior high and high school, the Herrington members were friends for several years before forming the group. Lead singer Tyler Forrest, 20, and drummer Sean Dunaway, 21, were bandmates from In Fear of the Fall. Bass player Tabe Rowe, 24, and guitarist/vocalist Brent Herrington, 19, played in their own groups. "All the bands broke up at the exact same time," Forrest says, and the pop rock outfit Herrington was formed.

  Describing its sound as "pop rock, piano rock, jump around, get crazy music," Herrington echoes the sounds of We The Kings, Fall Out Boy and All American Rejects. The band's pumped up rock and catchy lyrics are lighthearted and energetic. Ironically, none of the band members are huge pop-music fans.

  "We're really open musicians," Brent Herrington says. "We draw from each other more than an artist."

  The four members took a determined approach from the start. "We probably rehearsed for about four or five months before we had a show," Brent Herrington says. "We took our time. We didn't rush. We took the right order of operations. Plus, we're really good friends."

  The group's patience paid off. In July, Herrington won the battle of the bands at St. Tammany's annual Jammin' on the Trace. The group won a $250 cash prize, and one of the contest judges, country/rock musician Christian Serpas, helped organize the band's CD release concert at the Mandeville Trailhead Amphitheater. He also became the group's manager.

  Less than a month after winning the title, Herrington dropped its self-produced debut album I'll Ask the Rain. Forrest drew some inspiration for the album's earnest yet youthful lyrics from his relationship with his girlfriend, who moved to the Northshore from St. Bernard Parish after Hurricane Katrina. Other songs include "Stay With Me," which reveals an older brother's concern for a teenage sister who's experiencing peer pressure.

  "[The album] took about three months to do," he says. "I shut my life out. We really took our time on it, and it came out awesome." As for the lyrics, the vocalist/guitarist/pianist is less boastful. "I don't like taking credit. I write the songs and words, but without my guys, it wouldn't be Herrington."

  The band performs at the contest showcase at Republic and will then continue playing throughout southeastern Louisiana, with plans to launch a music tour across the South this summer.

  "We love doing this," Dunaway says. "We want to take being in a band to the next step."

"Get Up, Get Out"

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