Studio Live Social Hour

Steven Spencer

When I listen to vocal groups with vibrant harmonies, I feel a rush of emotions from admiration to jealously. I’ve never been very good at it myself.

But Emily Higgins, Larry Lee and David Wilson are.  They’ve recently come together in a new trio that bursts with three-part harmonies. The group has dubbed themselves The HigLeeWils, taking a bit of each of their last names. But how does someone learn how to sing in harmony?

From Tarkio Road to Seven Bridges Road

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

For Randy Buckner, the sounds of Merle Travis’ guitar picking would fill his grandparents’ home on North Grant Avenue, where he spent the week from time to time when he was a young child. These records were a pivotal point for Buckner’s music. At 9, he picked up his first guitar. By the time he was 15, he had the opportunity to join Travis onstage.

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

Traditional Ozarks music is steeped in old fiddle tunes from the British Isles, France, Germany, and French Canada, among other places. Over time, the style evolved, giving us bluegrass. According to Roger Matthews, if you boil down a bluegrass band to its core, you are left with Fiddle and Banjo – the name of KSMU’s Studio Live group for July.

Fiddle and Banjo is Michael Smartt on fiddle and Matthews on banjo. The duo shared several old-timey tunes with hosts Mike Smith and Jess Balisle, along with a history lesson about each song and the genre it came from.

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

Andy Havens was in the Studio to perform original songs with his backing band - Johnny Strickler on electric guitar, Larry Cataldo on bass, David Nace on drums, Alisha Thomas on violin and backing vocals, and Kat Rueda-Lynn on backing vocals. 

Brett Miller

The Hook Knives (Ran Cummings, Mike Henderson, Alisha Schroeder, Jessica Balisle) were on Studio Live with their unique blend of original tunes. The band then played Studio Live Social Hour at the Backlot. 

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