I started playing
the guitar when I was 11 years old, and by age 12 I had played
my first gig at my Aunt & Uncle's bar in Luxemberg. My first
band was three piece, and we
played everything from old time waltzes to rock n' roll. When I began high school, I started another
three piece band which stayed together through high school and into our twenties.
One night we were playing at a local establishment, the owner
said that our band name (Dungeon, Fire and Sword) sounded too hard rock for our style of
music. He suggested that we change our name to BLT, (which
stands for Bill Lommel Trio). He joked that we'd be on every
menu in town!
From then on we were known as the BLT Band. Over
the years the band has grown - we are now a five piece band.
While the band has changed, my role has not; in all of these
bands I have played guitar and sung lead
vocals. I have played in bands all my life because I really
enjoy entertaining people and watching them have fun. There's no
way to explain the feeling you get when you know you have
connected with the audience through a song or made their wedding
day special. Some of my musical influences are Johnny Cash,
Alabama, James Taylor, Neil Diamond, and George Strait, to name a
Bill Lommel - Vocals, Guitar
Barb Merten - Vocals, Keyboards
Barb grew up in the country with a family
rooted in music. Her Grandpa Al had a band years ago called Al & the Blue Jackets,
and he started a family tradition for many to follow. Now,
several family members are in different working bands in
Barb started out playing the piano by ear at a very young
age. From there she
just kept exploring music in every way possible, whether it was
singing in the church choir, playing the clarinet, or playing
various percussion instruments. Barb grew up listening to many different styles of music,
from John Denver, Alabama, Bryan Adams, REO Speedwagon, to
George Strait. She's
also a huge Patsy Cline fan, and all of the old classic country
from the 60s and 70s.
Barb says, "That's what I really like about being a part of BLT.
We play such a wide variety of music and really capture
many different audiences as a result.
Some nights we do many of the old rock and roll and
country songs, other nights we do mostly current songs…no two
nights are ever the same.
I really enjoy singing for weddings…the whole event is so very
special and being able to be a part of that is what makes it all
worth it! So often
a bride and groom will come up at the end of the night and thank
us for making their night special and they say that there is
just nothing like having a "live" band versus hiring a DJ, and
that their guests keep commenting on how classy it is that they
hired a band. You
can play CDs anytime and anywhere, but a band can makes it
unique in every way!"
|Gary Eikmeier is
the drummer for BLT, and he's a doozy. Self-taught and with a
passion for great music, Gary drives the band with his tasteful
yet hard-hitting style.
As a young child, Gary started playing
the coffee cans, then graduated to a real drum kit at age 10.
Some of his musical influences are Neal Pert (Rush), REO
Speedwagon, Journey and Styx.
He also does great animal impressions.
Just ask him.
Gary Eikmeier - Drums, Vocals
Jason Stice - Guitar, Vocals
"I started playing guitar at the age of 13. My entire family is
rooted in music with my parents performing for 40 years (Karmann
Goldwyn) and making a living
performing music there was no shortage of jam sessions in the
house. Played for Rocori High School marching band, wind
ensemble and pep band. Soon after I started a band singing and
playing guitar playing classic rock and blues.
Guitarists that I look up to are Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray
Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Brad Paisley and my dad Mike
BLT Rocks because it has amazing musicians and everyone has
Bass player Terry Miles hails from South Dakota and attended
music school at SDSU. He got his start playing bass in the US
Army Band, living and performing in Missouri, Virginia, Germany,
Kansas, Chicago, and Seoul, South Korea. Terry also spent many
years playing all types of music in northeast Wisconsin,
northwest Iowa, and most recently here in central Minnesota.
When he's not gigging he likes to spend time travelling,
spending time in nature, or enjoying a good CD or live musical
performance. He jokingly refers to his personal musical tastes
as "sophisticated," but in fact he just considers himself a
lucky country kid who loves to play for music lovers
Terry Miles - Bass