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Dirt Road panoramic view with a rainbow over a tree on the left, and the sunset with a black DRR logo over top

Dirt Road Radio is a platform for sharing stories from parts of America that don’t often get heard.

Every week, millions of Americans tune into radio, but 91% of the content is conservative and dominated by five big media companies. Meanwhile, a more well balanced radio that appeals to Americans of all types has struggled to reach rural markets. Dirt Road Radio aims to change the game in the radio field by offering an alternative to the dominant conservative news and talk radio. We want to share a wider horizon, and broader range of voices and perspectives.

We aim to bridge the rural-urban divide by offering a more wide-ranging and balanced content.

With the spread of broadband internet, Dirt Road Radio sees an opportunity to deliver more wide-ranging content to rural listeners without the high costs of licensing and purchasing traditional radio stations. With the ability to stream nationwide through cell phones and smart speakers, Dirt Road Radio can offer a more nimble and dynamic alternative to the dominant players.

We are committed to delivering high-quality and engaging content that resonates with our audience.

Research shows that the rural-urban divide has grown dramatically in the last few decades, coinciding with the disappearance of local newspapers and the growing prominence of conservative talk radio. By harnessing the power of streaming technology, Dirt Road Radio seeks to bridge this divide and provide a much-needed alternative to rural listeners.

We welcome contributions from anyone who has a story to tell, an experience to share, or a point of view to express.

Won’t you join us? It’s easier than you think. Everyone has a story and knows others with stories. Whether you want to pitch a story idea or ask how to use an app on your cell or computer to make a recording, we are ready to help.
We’re a group of podcasters , musicians, artists, pundits, and storytellers sewing a new American quilt built of the rich experiences of rural voices. We need yours.

Who We Are

Laurie Lusinski

Laurie is a native Iowan, a truck driver and a gearhead. When she is not fighting for social justice, advocating for animal welfare or visiting grandkids, she can be found working her magic restoring the interior of a car no one else has seen potential in. Laurie sees things the way they can be, even if that’s not the way they are. She brings creativity and passion for advocacy to the Dirt Road Radio team, and she’s excited to hear the stories.

Chris Burgess

Chris is a Hoosier by birth and an Iowan since 2002. He is a scholar and an adjunct professor of English, a writer, editor, musician, audio producer and storyteller. He teaches writing and speaking courses, and he writes and produces music to share with his friends. Chris will dive headfirst into almost any creative challenge that involves helping others find their voices.

Julie Russell-Steuart

Julie is an exhibiting artist, printmaker and disability activist who is a “reclaimed” Iowan who lives in rural Grundy County with her family. She likes to synthesize word and image in her letterpress art practice. She’s a poet/publisher under the imprint Caveworks Press with a shop full of heavy printing equipment saved from old newspaper offices. She’s excited about creating in streaming media to amplify rural “citizen journalists.”

Dan Schaefer

Dan, a native of North St. Louis County, Missouri, pursued engineering at the University of Missouri in Columbia. During his time there, he also honed his skills as a DJ at KCOU. Shortly after graduation, Dan relocated to the Los Angeles area and spent nearly three decades immersed in a diverse range of roles, which included extensive travel and collaborations with people from around the globe. Now happily settled back in Missouri, Dan is thrilled to join the DRR team and devote his expertise to issues that truly resonate with the heartland community.

Bernadette Holzer

Bernadette, aka Beltana (Bel) Spellsinger, is a resident of beautiful Texas County, Missouri, in the heart of the rural Ozarks. She is a musician, activist, artist, and land steward, who lives on her family’s 166 acre hay farm. She is the hostess of the YouTube show, “The Blue Spark,” and is always interested in talking with musicians, activists, politicians and environmentalists, to shine a light on how we can bring Rural America closer together, one state at a time.

Kelcey Brackett

Introducing Kelcey, the visionary problem solver and passionate community advocate. Born and raised in Iowa, Kelcey brings a wealth of diverse perspectives to his work, inspired by his experiences living on both the East and West coasts. With a love for technical innovation and a commitment to social justice, Kelcey is a natural fit for Dirt Road Radio’s mission to connect and uplift rural communities through the power of storytelling. Kelcey loves to unwind with his furry best friend or explore tropical waters with his adventurous spouse. Join Kelcey and the Dirt Road Radio team on this inspiring journey towards a more connected and vibrant future.

Tim Ely

Tim Ely grew up on a farm in northeastern Indiana and spent countless hours listening to radio, usually while doing chores. Tim lives in the St. Louis MO area, and works in information technology.  He is thrilled to be a member of the DRR team and help spread the word about the wonderful people and places throughout America’s heartland.