Studio Live Social Hour

Courtesy of Steve Ames

Steve Ames will perform on KSMU's Studio Live Friday, December 13, 2019 at noon. He'll be at Tie & Timber Beer Co. that same evening from 6-8 pm for Studio Live Social Hour. 

What happens when you take a classically trained opera singer and introduce him to folk music? You get the music powerhouse Steve Ames. Our story starts in Decatur, Illinois, where a young Ames began his vocal journey.

Jessica Balisle / KSMU
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. 

Bailey Vassalli / KSMU

Shaun Munday was in the KSMU studios to bring us his unique bass technique and soulful vocals. Hosts Jessica Balisle and Randy Stewart talked with Shaun about his musical journey through Central High School in Springfield to the Berklee School of Music in Boston, his debut solo album, and his talent for radio voices. 

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

KSMU kicked off its Fall Pledge Drive in style with a musical celebration from the KSMU All Stars: Steve Ames, Todd Balisle, Molly Healey, Mike Henderson, Brett Johnston, Dallas Jones, Kristi Merideth, Jimmy Rea, Melissa Henderson Rea and Toad Wyrick.  The musicians swapped time between the studio and the phone bank taking pledges, then rocking the house at Barley Wheat & Rye Social House for a special edition of the Studio Live Social Hour. Raffle prizes were won and many sipped from their new KSMU Custom Design Pint Glasses that they pledged for at the event. 

Ryan Welch / KSMU

Distant Relative (Richard Kittleman, Phil Croy, Ray Castrey, David Nace and Bob Runyon) came to the KSMU studios to share their brand of non-traditional jazz. The band shared stories from their 20+ year history and discussed their new upcoming album, which should be out by December. That evening, the band played to a packed house at Barley Wheat & Rye Social House for Studio Live Social Hour. 

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

Grandma Strange was in the studio to share their strange and experimental brand of rock with KSMU listeners. The band is Brooke Austen on vocals, Clinton Houseman on guitar and vocals, Ryan Wallace on bass, and Alisha Schroeder on drums. The band is currently in the process of recording a new EP or album, whichever it ends up becoming. 

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

The Ozarks Klezmer Orkestr, (Andrew Bishko, Allison Steiner, Donnie Kraft), was in the studio for a Klezmer 101 lesson. We learned about the history of the genre, occasions for certain songs and how the music fits in with Jewish traditions. 

For Studio Live Social Hour at Barley Wheat & Rye, Andrew taught the audience a traditional dance. 

Ryan Welch / KSMU

Brother Wiley is no stranger to Studio Live, having played several times over the years. Brett Miller, Todd Mincks, Jessica Balisle and Kenny Wirt were in the studio one last time to look back on their 10+ year music career together as the band gets ready for their last show. The band is calling it quits with Brett leaving town to pursue the Something Gigantic project. The final Brother Wiley show will be held April 1 at Lindberg's. 

Jessica Balisle / KSMU

Eddie Gumucio was in the studio with his band that includes Jake Viele (drums), John Montgomery (percussion), and Tim Datema (bass). Eddie discussed his recording projects, songwriting and his Bolivian roots. 

Studio Live
Jessica Balisle / KSMU

Brandon Moore was in the studio with fellow musicians Chad "Gravy" Grave, Dallas Jones, Jimmy Rea, and Kyle Young to promote his first studio album Down in the Dirt, being released in early October. 

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