The The Legendary Delta Dogs is the ultimate guy band, playing a gloomy concoction of rock and blues in their original songs.
The Legendary Delta Dogs is the ultimate guy band, playing a gloomy concoction of rock and blues in its original songs. The Ashland trio is made up of Reid Berger, Reed Bentley and Theo White — all friends who have lived in Ashland for the past seven years. They formed their group a little over two years ago.
"Reed and I kind of go way back, we were in the Service Animals before it was a band with Aaron Reed, then that one disassembled and Monk formed out of the ashes," Berger said.
Like many Ashland bands that start from fragmented bands of the past, so The Legendary Delta Dogs formed with Berger as lead singer and songwriter, Bentley on drums and White on bass.
"Kind of like cavemen how they carry an ember miles and miles, we resurrected a spark and now it's a vibrant flame," said Berger of their current formation.
When asked who their influences are, Berger, like any good friend, answered for Bentley.
"Reed likes Englebert Humperdinck and Yanni," said Berger.
Joking aside, one can definitely detect some '60s blues and maybe a little Jimi Hendrix funk in the band's sound, in addition to that dark Northwest grunge rock vibe.
"I grew up in Seattle," said White. "So that rock influence was around."
The Legendary Delta Dogs started out when White insisted on playing bass with Bentley and Berger.
"I was always dragging my bass to their barbecues and parties, I would be standing there with my bass trying to get plugged in," said White.
"He was always such an eager beaver," said Berger. "It was cute."
Caldera Tap House has been the band's main stage, but these legendary dogs have played all over the Rogue Valley, or, as White says, "We've played every dump in Ashland except CultureWorks."
Being a local band can lead to some tough gigs, like the time the band played at Northwest Pizza.
"There was like four or five people in there ... " said White with a smile. "We were like "… rocking."
Even though both White and Berger are young fathers, they would like to have at least a regular weekly gig.
"If I can make my life not completely fall apart," Berger said. "I mean if everything is kind of on the edge of its pants I can play once a week."
For the Tidings Café the Legendary Delta Dogs played an original song written by Berger called "Train" in Bentley's home music studio.
"We don't practice, but this is where we would if we did," White said.
The band has about 20 original songs and has been playing them so long they don't feel rusty when they have a gig.
"I would go insane if I didn't have music," Berger said. "It's an excuse to get up in front of a bunch of people and whine."
The group has recorded, but it has been a slow and expensive process that has no firm end in site.
"I feel like if we were going to record we would have to camp out there for a week and stay there," White said.
Since each member of the group has a busy personal life, the band comes second and is mostly a healthy emotional outlet for male bonding and fun.
"I have two kids and my own business, Theo's a full-time dad, Reed's a full-time dude working multiple jobs," Berger said. "So just like making new stuff happen requires a lot of energy."
Bentley, who is not yet a family man, is a percussionist for the Rogue Valley Symphony, a member of the popular Ashland band Kabbage and also plays with a contemporary Hawaiian band.
"For me it's all I do. It's all I've done for years and years. It's been just a part of my life and a part that can't go away," Bentley said. "And I love it."
How did this group become "Legendary?" Well, that may be a foretelling name according to band members.
"How we became legendary so fast?" Bentley said. "That's our little secret!"
"We've created quite a buzz about ourselves," said White, who has been named "Band Mom" by Bentley and Berger.
To hear The Legendary Delta Dogs for yourself go to Caldera Tap House on Feb. 25 at 9:30 p.m.
"It's nice to be asked to play instead of bugging everybody like I usually do," said White.
Mandy Valencia is a freelance writer and videographer living in Ashland. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.