By Linda Scherer
The musical beat goes on for Lauren Eggert and Jessica Scherer, 2003 Holy Trinity graduates.
The two were classmates for 13 years, sharing a love of music that goes all the way back to their early years in elementary school.
Now college graduates, the talented young ladies, who are both members of bands, have developed distinctive music styles, making their individual performances quite different from each other.
Eggert is a member of a country honky-tonk band, the Dixiehicks, which performed to a full house at the Blue Note Dec. 1.
The same weekend, Scherer performed at an AIDS benefit to a lively group at St. John’s Pub at St. John’s University with the pop/folk band, Color by Number.
Thinking about those first few years in elementary school, Scherer cites Eggert as an early influence in her musical life.
“Lauren was the reason I wanted to play the piano. I remember going over to her house in kindergarten, and she had this piano, and these books . . . and I asked my parents if I could take lessons, too,” Scherer said.
Eggert remembers whenever there was free time in elementary music, she and Scherer would play the piano.
“Jessie and I would play “Heart and Soul” over, and over and over again,” Eggert recalls.
This was just the beginning of their artistic collaborations. Throughout high school, they shared the spotlight on numerous occasions.
They sang in the Holy Trinity choir, played in the band, and performed together, with Eggert singing and Scherer playing the piano at school concerts and church Masses, right up to, and including, the evening of their 2003 graduation.
A highlight of their senior year was their performance in the musical “Grease,” a story that took place in the late 1950s.
Eggert played Sandy, a young girl who was so perfect she was described as “Sandra Dee,” and Scherer played Rizzo, who was not like Sandra Dee at all.
Eggert is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. She received her bachelor of arts degree in journalism and mass communication August 2006. She is the daughter of Fran and Jan Eggert of Winsted.
When Eggert is not singing with the Dixiehicks, she is working at Marketing Architects in Minnetonka and is a copywriter who writes and produces radio ads.
Scherer graduated from the College of St. Benedict May 2007, majoring in instrumental music education. She is the daughter of Larry and Linda Scherer of Howard Lake.
Scherer is an instructor for the Sartell Drumline, teaches song writing and percussion at Watershed High School, a charter school in Minneapolis, and is the music director at Grace Church in St. Cloud. She also works as a substitute music teacher in the St. Cloud area.
Eggert is lead singer in the country band, Dixiehicks
The Dixiehicks identifies its band as country rock, with some honky tonk and Nashville.
At the Blue Note Saturday night, Dec. 1, Eggert impressed the crowd, singing songs like Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” and “She’s Got You.”
The group also played contemporary songs from Martina McBride, Brooks and Dunn, and Trisha Yearwood.
There were many fans present who had known Eggert while she was growing up in Winsted. Everybody enjoyed listening to her sing and shared compliments about her performance.
A comment was made by Winsted resident, Mary Wiemiller who said, “Lauren and I sang in the choir together and I always told her she would be famous someday because she has such a great voice.”
Eggert likes to sing country music because it has a lot of variety and she has fun singing it.
She loves Winstock and remembers when she was 8 years old, sitting in the rain, listening to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
“Two years ago, when Sugarland performed at Winstock, it inspired me. I started looking for a country band to sing with,” Eggert said.
“I love singing. It is celebrating music. I love to make a connection with the actual music. I have always enjoyed singing in the shower or in the car. Now, it is nice to know other people enjoy hearing my voice,” Eggert said.
Duane Stombaugh, who brought the Dixiehicks together in January 2006, cannot say enough good things about Eggert.
“She is just fun to be around and a pleasure to work with. She has a great stage presence,” Stombaugh said.
Members of the Dixiehicks include Lauren Eggert, vocals; Duane Stombaugh, base and keyboard; Garry Marklowitz, lead vocals and lead guitar; John Efraimson, lead electric guitar; Tom Hels, drummer, and Matt Guzy, sound man, who the group considers very lucky to have working for them. In the past, Guzy has worked for American Idol, Barbra Streisand, and Christina Aguilera.
For more information on the Dixiehicks Band, see its web site, dixiehicksband.com.
Color by Number writes the majority of its music
Pete Lund, a St. John’s University student, was interested in starting a band. At a suggestion from a friend, he asked Scherer if she might consider joining him. That was in the summer of 2006, and the band, Color by Number was born.
Their music is a mixture of folk and pop. The majority of the music done by the band is written by Lund and Scherer.
“I started writing songs about a year ago,” Scherer said. “Pete was originally more folk, and I brought in more of a pop music perspective. Over the past year, our backgrounds have really blended. We’ve learned a lot from each other’s styles.”
Their first “gig” was an open mic at Brother Willie’s Pub at St. John’s University December 2006.
“We went on at half past midnight, the night before my senior piano recital. I had a blast, and I was hooked,” Scherer said.
When another good friend of theirs asked if she could sing with them, Scherer started writing vocals in three-part harmonies.
“I love being on stage. I do get nervous sometimes, especially playing and singing by myself. But not normally when we’re doing songs as an ensemble,” Scherer said.
Friday night’s gig, Nov. 30, was an AIDS benefit concert for Camp Heartland.
The band’s first number had Scherer accompanying Lund on her harmonica, which had the crowd cheering.
Scherer’s song, entitled “No More Dating for Me,” brought lots of laughter from the audience, too.
“Jessie’s humor in her songs seems to be very entertaining to the crowd,” Lund said. “Working with Jessie, with her musical expertise, is very fun and encourages a very creative atmosphere,” Lund said.
Members of the Color by Number band are Pete Lund, guitar, vocals, penny whistle; Kristin Roehl, vocals; Scherer, piano, vocals, harmonica.
The majority of Color by Number performances is as a campus band at St. Ben’s and St. John’s, but they have also performed at Bo Didley’s in downtown St. Cloud, and Acadia coffeeshop on Nicollet in Minneapolis.
The Color by Number Band will be performing Friday, Dec. 21 at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis.