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In the spirit of 'Freebird'

Good classic rock bands are like good restaurants — hard to find, but worth the search.

Hog Wild is just such a group. You can catch the pub-players at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 23-24, at Roscoe's BBQ, 117 S. Main St., Phoenix.

The band was formed in 1995 by longtime pals and guitarists Dale Visage and Lloyd Morris in Santa Cruz, Calif. Visage and Morris were both members of the Santa Cruz chapter of HOG (Harley Owners Group, a corporate-sponsored social club for Harley-Davidson riders.)

"They asked us if we would put a band together for a Christmas party," Visage explains. Proving to be more than just a source of outdoor entertainment, HOG inspired Visage and Morris to name their new band Hog Wild.

Hog Wild's lineup is completed by lead guitarist Kevin Haapala, bassist Richard Dosier and drummer Mary Wacker, all of whom joined the project in 2004 when the band was reformed in Southern Oregon.

Listeners can expect to hear some familiar fare from Hog Wild's extensive catalog of cover material, which consists mainly of classic rock with the occasional venture into soul and country. Like any true classic rock band trying to earn its stripes on the live circuit, Hog Wild rehearses tirelessly to cover as much ground as possible. In fact, the band has amassed such a long list of songs that, according to Visage, "you could listen to us for eight hours straight without hearing a repeat."

Even within the context of a genre that boasts some lengthy arrangements and four-minute guitar solos, that's an impressive feat.

The band is prepared for a busy summer filled with wedding gigs, club shows and a particularly appropriate show at — you guessed it — a Harley-Davidson event.

So if you are a fan of classic rock, Harley-Davidsons or just a general supporter of good music, make your way to Roscoe's BBQ this weekend for Hog Wild's performance. Also, if you happen to be one of those people who likes to shout "Freebird" at shows, you have a pretty good chance of hearing it.

Cover for the show at Roscoe's is free. Call 512-1046.

Hog Wild took its moniker after a Harley Owners Group chapter in Santa Cruz, Calif.