THREE at Howiee's

The degrees of musical separation between Medford's THREE and huge international acts are very small.

Members of the power-rock trio, composed of Mike E. Hicks on drums and vocals, J.D. Berlingeri on bass and vocals, and Michael Sidon on guitars and vocals, have opened for or played with members of bands such as The Goo Goo Dolls, Eric Johnson, Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Bad Company.

Each from vastly different places — Hicks is from Louisiana, Berlingeri is from New Jersey, and Sidon was born in Germany and raised in Thailand — all eventually relocated to Southern Oregon.

In 2005, Sidon set out to start up a new band, having not played in nearly five years. He posted ads in local music stores seeking a drummer and began seeing a nearly identical ad from Hicks seeking a guitarist. After they met and jammed, Hicks recommended that they bring Berlingeri into the fold. The trio quickly related to each other and formed THREE.

Although the members have extensive musical resumes that span many genres, Sidon says it was simple to figure out what direction to take the band.

"We jammed maybe 23 or 25 songs in a row," says Sidon. "It's really been a brilliance ever since."

The group is working on songs and hopes to head into the studio in the next couple months to record an album. In the meantime, THREE will take the stage at 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Howiee's On Front, 16 N. Front St., Medford. There is no cover charge.

While the group has had a degree of success in the Rogue Valley, Sidon says the local scene is different than other places they've been.

"It's weird here. It's a very artsy area, but people don't really participate in live music," says Sidon. "The challenge for me is that I want to play to people. We can usually draw around 30 or 40 people, and that's a good draw here. It's not like that other places. When I was playing in Alaska, we were drawing around 200."

However, the group is not deterred. They are grateful for the loyal fans they do have and are confident in their live shows.

"Bass playing is a philosophy. There's a space that you need to be able to play in, and J.D. is a philosopher. He knows how to play in that space," says Sidon. "Mikey is a world-class drummer, these guys have really been a gift to me."

Audiences that come out to a THREE show can expect high energy and power emanating from the stage.

"Every song we play, we play sincerely," says Sidon. "We're not wimpy."

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