Jessica Balisle

Administrative Specialist/Studio Live

Jessica Balisle, a Springfield native, grew up listening to KSMU. She now commands the front desk, taking your calls and greeting you at the door. Jessica co-hosts live music show Studio Live and is heavily involved with the station’s membership office. In 2006, she earned her BA in Applied Anthropology from Missouri State University. When she’s not at KSMU, Jessica plays bass in local bands the Hook KnivesBrother Wiley and the Ozark Sheiks, and sings in Shattered and JM Buttermilk.  She and her husband Todd live with their two cats Cory And Trevor and Elle Driver.

Ways to Connect

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

Nearly everyone in Springfield is familiar with the Sertoma Chili Cook-off. It’s the big celebration in February where local businesses and organizations compete for the best chili, all while helping support the Boys and Girls Clubs. Anyone who’s been to a chili cook-off knows that live music is a major part of the day’s events. This year’s event on February 23rd will again feature the KSMU Acoustic Stage, as well as the main stage in the big room of the downtown Expo Center.

I spoke with Sertoman Ken Childers about what makes live music such a vital part of this event.

Courtesy of Sunset to Burns

How much does a band have to change over time before it’s not the same band anymore? For Sunset to Burns, the answer is: a lot. When the band formed in 2011, things seemed stable – from their Polk County roots to their acoustic sound. Even their name was deeply tied to the county. Founding member and guitarist Lucas Roberts explains its origin.

“The name Sunset to Burns is two bridges:  it’s a float trip. It’s from Sunset Bridge on the Pomme de Terre River to Burns Bridge on the Pomme de Terre River,” said Lucas.

Courtesy of Joe Dillsrom

Childhood memories can be influential on our older selves. Looking through time passed, we find ourselves reminiscing for days gone by. For songwriter Joe Dillstrom, the ability to process and draw on these memories gives life to his songs.

Growing up in Springfield, Joe remembers his mother taking him to diners like Aunt Martha’s and Anton’s. The older crowd at these places stuck in his mind.

“A different part of our postwar Ozarks culture that was just fading away as I was getting older. The sort of remnants of the Route 66 mythology,” said Joe.

Carla DeSilva-Carver

Not every local band records with a producer, but Failing Minnesota has spent the last year and a half working with producer Kevin Gates at Reach Audio on their first full-length album. I sat down with the band to find out how working so closely with a producer has influenced them.

Vocalist and guitarist Michael Gandy remembers what it was like joining Failing Minnesota after they had already started recording.

Pages