"Yeah, I really
play guitar like that."
Upside down and backwards, with the wrong hand, too. You might go blind
watching it, but it works. Luke Shilts grew up with music. At age 5 he
performed special vocal music in church, and started playing in school
band by age 10. While he tinkered on his father's Gibson, his first
guitar was a bass, and he played in various ensembles and bands,
singing all the while until he got to college. Then it all stopped for
nearly fifteen years until his little brother passed him an Ibanez six
string guitar. Luke got back into it more than ever, working with one
project and then the next, until the Cool Hands contacted him. "These
guys are great," Luke says. "I've never had this much fun with music,
and I've never played with better musicians."
Luke has lived
in Greeley since 2001
and has hosted "The Luke Shilts Program" on 1310 AM since 2005 for
KFKA. He is also an insurance agent for Colorado Farm Bureau, and has
two daughters that are learning the guitar.
Thom's earliest musical experiences found him playing
cocktail piano at 15, Rock organ during the late ‘60s, acoustic
guitar in Folk groups, and Banjo, Dobro and Mandolin in Bluegrass
bands. After discovering the mystical effect of sliding and bending
string pitches emitted from the Pedal Steel Guitar that his
“universe” came together as one. Thus began the road trip
through the Urban Cowboy era that would include house gigs and one
nighters from Colorado to Minnesota.
His experience includes such notable bands
as: Cajun Country, White Line Express, High Dollar Band, Rounder,
Ricochet, Mario and the Durango Band, and the Chris King
Band. Nationally, his work includes appearing with artists such
as Asleep at the Wheel, Merle Haggard, Ronnie Milsap, John Prine,
Jerry Jeff Walker, Michael Murphy, and the Dillards to name a
Vocals, Lead Guitar
discovered his musical talents as
a young boy playing
clarinet & tenor saxophone in school bands. When
reached the 8th
grade he took his
sax down to Larimer street
& traded it
for his first electric guitar. (much to
the chagrin of his parents & band instructor) He
began putting together surf & hot rod
bands with his friends playing the songs of the era.
the Byrds came along and Ron’s musical
tastes shifted. He soon found
best music was always buried deep in the artist’s album and a
their true talent
is found there.
high school the bands got more
serious as did his
playing. Ron is a veteran of 70’s and 80’s
bands like Lash LaRue and Johnny Wonder.
1984 he came off the road and went
to school for
Broadcast Television. He spent the next 27 years in the Network News
well as private endeavors. This took him
around the world to some amazing places.
July of 2011 Bill contacted him to
join the Cool
Hands. A kind of
puttin’ the band
back together” thing. Ron, Bill
Steinmiller & Bill Venable played together 28 yrs ago in Lash
LaRue. Now they are
reunited and having a blast!
Dave is a long time fixture on the Northern Colorado
music scene. He started playing in his Dad's bands as a little
guy and has played in some of the area's best known bands over the
years. Borderline was a very popular country band that
played the best venues on the Front Range.
In addition to playing drums with the Cool Hands, Dave
keeps busy with his karaoke business.
playing music as a drummer in grade school
and Jr. High Band. At age 14 he got his first guitar and fell in love
for the first time. With in a year he was playing gigs in a Jr. High
Surf Band. He played in numerous high school rock bands and was playing
in local bars by age 16. After being discharged from the Army, in 1972,
Bill picked up the bass and spent the next 10 years in bands along the
front range, and "on the road", playing Rock, Country, Blues, Western
In the early 80s
Bill decided to give up the music
business, went back to school, and received his degree in Information
Technology. He spent the next 28 years as a computer programmer and
concentrated on raising his girls.
While "playing out"
again had been in the back of his
mind for quite some time, during the summer of 2010 the bug bit
again...hard. Bill bought a new bass rig and set about finding
musicians to play with. He was fortunate to find Luke and The Cool
Hands and is having more fun playing music than ever.