Straw Dogs draws impressive comparisons: the rock and groove of Counting Crows, Jayhawks, and Wilco, melodies akin to Ryan Adams, and the harmony of CSN and Indigo Girls, tied together with songwriting that demonstrates an allegiance to the craft.
On "Tell the Rising Sun" (2005), Straw Dogs "continue to pump out song after song of high-powered pop. Jettisoned by guitars reminiscent of some great bands from the 60s, more modern comparisons to R.E.M., and strong abilities in song writing with the additions of the appropriate music to complete the circle, they pull you into every track and never let loose. With the polished lead vocals of Dave von Beck (guitars) and soaring harmonies of Darren Smith (guitars, keys) and the rhythm section of Casey Miller (drums) and Eric Bryson (bass), they never miss a beat. This unit does not seem to be lacking in any area."
--Keith Hannaleck, musikreviews.com
"They relentlessly pound track after track of catchy guitar sounds, unmatched vocal harmonies and a seasoned song writing ability that had a distinct sound of their own."
"Now, I never like to give a review without giving some sort of comparison to other artists to give the readers a general of idea of their sound. This was hard but if I had to compare them to any other artist out there I would compare their vocal harmonies to the similarities of "The Jayhawks" and David von Beck's (lead) vocals have a Tom Petty meets James Taylor sound. And Darrin Smith's ability to harmonize with von Beck is simply some of the greatest that I've ever heard."
--Kevin Feild, RealMusicReview.com
As a four-piece rock outfit, Straw Dogs consistently puts on dynamic live shows. The band's high energy and honed musicianship allow it to conjure, on stage, the sweetest vibes from each of the well-crafted songs on its records. And in longer shows, Darren and David add an acoustic set, which gives the audience a chance to hear just voice and guitar, the root tones and clean harmony that drive this band's compositions. And with occasional guest musicians in the line-up, including on keyboards, pedal steel, and dobro, Straw Dogs never fails to deliver a high-output performance.