Nick Berg was born to rock. "Music hit me from birth because I can't remember ever not singing," Berg told the Herald in an interview. "But for a long time, I never knew what to do with it."
That changed when he met musician Ty Lane in high school in the early 1990s. The two got together and formed their first band, Straight Shot, which led to the formation of another band they named FrogHollow a few years later.
The FrogHollow Band still cranks out a litany of music -- from country to rock 'n' roll -- and Berg has a simple philosophy.
"Sure we're country, but even cowboys like a little rock 'n' roll," he said.
Their eclectic style caught the ear of Wildhorse Resort & Casino. The casino invited the band to open for country music diva Sara Evans, who performs at the Pendleton casino July 28.
"Even though Wildhorse invited us, we still had to be approved by Sara Evans' people, but once they heard us play, they said, 'Oh yeah,' and that thrilled us," Berg said.
The band also will perform a benefit concert in the Tri-Cities on Aug. 18 at Dax's Bar & Grill in Richland. Proceeds from the outdoor concert will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tickets to the show are $7 in advance or $10 at the door. Tickets are available on the band's website at www.thefroghollowband.com.
Berg is the voice of The FrogHollow Band and cranks out songs with a distinctive twang.
"He has a range and flexibility vocally that goes beyond words," said the band's agent, Scott Mathews. "Nick's unmistakable twang keeps the band's vocal aspect firmly planted in country."
He added that The FrogHollow Band takes a creative approach to reconstructing itself, which means blending a mix of hard rock and country.
Berg, who farms and flies helicopters by day, said the biggest honor he could get would be to sing the national anthem for any occasion.
"I guess I can make my voice big and powerful, but I can also make it soft and beautiful," he said. "But I truly love singing the national anthem most of all. The whole band is patriotic, and we've tried many times to get on the USO tour, but they always seem to want the big-name people instead of us unknowns."
The FrogHollow Band will be releasing its first album within the next couple of weeks, titled Love for a Six Gun. The album will be available on the band's website.
Lane plays lead guitar and handles vocals. The rest of the FrogHollow troupe, who range from 32 to 57, includes Lane's dad Kit on rhythm guitar, Jim Pearson on bass and vocals, Jerry Yokel on fiddle/mandolin/harmonica, and Brian Richards on drums.
The band members play a few cover tunes but mostly write their own songs, Berg said.
"Ty wrote the cover song for our first album. That song came from a dark spot in his heart. We get together once a week in Waitsburg to rehearse for about four hours, and try out any new songs we've written.
"We're the kind of band who likes to take the back roads instead of the interstates, and we even wrote a tribute to bartenders for all they do for people who come into a bar either happy or troubled."
They all hail from southeastern corner of Washington, from Waitsburg to Dixie and from Clyde to Walla Walla. And if they play their cards right, Berg said, they hope to sign a record deal soon and hit the country music road.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org