Seven Sisters - full band stage - treated photo
"SIENNA" .mp3" from - http://www.myspace.com/thesevensisters

Seven Sisters is an ever-evolving, fantastic band that includes Mike Gibbins' kids: Adam Gibbins, Owen Gibbins and, at times, David Gibbins. No doubt, Mike would have been very proud to see where his sons, along with their friend keyboardist/writer/vocalist Danny Johansson, have progressed to musically and as maturing adults...

BONUS INTERVIEWS below. Covers history, influences, band dynamics, musical opinions, & Mike Gibbins!

Previous to Mike's unfortunate passing in 2005, his son, Owen (from his first marriage with Gaynor Gibbins) had released, as Bedroom Boy, a self-produced CD/EP entitled Secret Garden. Mike played the drums. It's a fantastic array of seasoned hard-rock stylings; the chemistry of Owen's fiery guitar and Mike's experienced flawless drumming make for sparks. It's a solid showcase of the possibilities for Owen as a solo artist. The track "Secret Garden" has a foot-stomping beat and an anthemic quality. "It's No Secret" has an exceptional streaming riff. And "Signal Sender" explodes like the best of Metallica. A dynamic, inventive track.

At the time Mike passed away, his two youngest sons with his wife, Ellie - Adam and David - were just starting to venture into jamming with other musicians. Now they have accelerated into full-fledged musical pursuits with their bands, Seven Sisters and Carnevil.

Adam Gibbins - Seven Sisters
Owen Gibbins

Seven Sisters was initially keyboardist Danny Johansson, drummer Adam Gibbins, and a few different guitarists. They were known as the Shut-Up Jacks. They changed their personnel in 2006, through the addition of Owen Gibbins, and bassist Adam Bodnarik (a friend of Johansson's). Together, they recorded the CD Falling, and became Seven Sisters.

I bought their CD on the recommendation of Kevin McElligott, and was immediately blown away, especially with the track, "Sienna." As soon as that song started, I was transported - a beautiful mellow cascading verse with a vocalist that sounded like he'd reincarnated out of the late 60s, early 70s progressive rock scene - a time when so many distinctive, incredible rock singers made their name.

As this tune flowed, it suddenly began a rapid build-up with ferocious intensity, then shockingly exploded into intense hard rock mania, with brilliant inflamed guitar, crashing drums, and subtle ooo's, all careening over scintillating vocals by Danny Johannson. Intense chills the first time I heard it. Much the same as when I first heard Badfinger's "Give It Up" on headphones, an experience I won't ever forget.

The album is a superb achievement. Adam, Danny, and Owen are monster talents and I have no qualms expressing that. What really is amazing is the fact Adam Gibbins and Danny Johansson were under eighteen when they recorded the album. Owen Gibbins is the elder statesman of the band, being thirty-four when he recorded and produced this CD at the Gibbins' home studio.

Five of the tracks - frenetic riff-rockers "5.0 Milligrams," "Honey," "Sure," "Jackie-O" plus Johansson's first song ever, "Pillows" - originated from the prior band called Shut-Up Jacks. Drummer Adam Gibbins drives these home, exciting as can be. Danny sings them with a needed edge, while Owen transforms the simple song structures with his intelligent guitar riffs, tasteful effects and solid leads. Check out the Knopfler-esque "Honey" and spot-on soloing of "Jackie-O." Bassist Adam Bodnarik is steady throughout the album, locked in with Adam at the root.

Danny Johansson
Adam Bodnarik

There are other mid-tempo songs that really portray what makes this band even more noteworthy. "Where" builds from its thick, marching stance - which takes over midway - then breaks into a powerful chorus, "Where are these people I love, people I touch…" - its ending peaking with a heavily-effected lead riff. All is finalized by tinkling piano over bombastic choppy chords.

"Windy Days" starts out with Bodnarik's slinky bass guitar, atmospheric guitar runs, and low-key verses, before moving into an electric piano solo, dark chants, reverbed arpeggiates, and a repeat of its theme, "It's been cloudy a lot lately, I'm sure you know…" Absolutely magical, with perfect solos and a resolved guitar picking to take you home.

Three other tracks fulfill this stunning debut. "Eternal Summer," a fully melodic hearkening to progressive rock, with outstanding drumming by Adam Gibbins. "Rest Now, Roman Soldier" which has a Mike Gibbins influence stamped all over it - subconscious or not - has rolling rhythms and an intricate surprising structure. This also showcases Danny's harmonica prowess. There is additionally "Faith Saves," an optimistic tune with a gorgeous hypnotic ending.

If picked up to go further by a legit record label, the material could possibly benefit with some re-mixing, as most home studio projects do need at least a remastering to bring out more bottom end. That is nitpicking, though - because this is a flat-out sensational debut full-length CD, especially with the context of their being a fledgling band. Danny Johansson writes all of the tunes and is a natural talent in that area. Not to mention, he is blessed with a vocal quality that is unique - a huge plus. I can't directly compare him to anyone, and that is a huge asset for him going forward.

Mike and Ellie's son, David Gibbins, is a bass player and he has played many gigs with Seven Sisters. He can be termed a rotating, ever-"potential" member, but Carnevil is his current band he plays with, as of June 2007. They are getting really hot on the Florida rock scene. They have a lot of dates this summer showcasing their blend of heavy metal permutations. A fantastic lead singer named Chuck, whose voice betters many current hard rock sensations, including Chris Daughtry, in my book. They also go for the Death Metal angle, so be prepared for that.  http://www.myspace.com/wearecarnevil

David Gibbins is a very well-spoken young man. In fact, each of the Gibbins boys, along with Danny Johansson, truly impressed me in the way they carry themselves. Ellie Gibbins is a guiding light to all the boys, helping in any areas she can, giving them a shoulder to lean on when it's needed.

These links below give you a chance to hear from each of them directly. Owen's link is to an email interview. David, Adam and Danny performed phone interviews with myself. Ellie was interviewed on the phone by Mack McFarland. Dates of the interview are listed for context.

David Gibbins

© photo - Tiffany Russell

.mp3 interviews

Danny Johansson/ Adam Gibbins/ David Gibbins/ Ellie Gibbins/ Owen Gibbins

Seven Sisters - Buy the CD - Falling

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