Luke DeWitt is fairly certain that news of his being in a band will come as a surprise to his co-workers in the IT Department.

“I haven’t really told anyone,” he says. “When I’m working, it’s just not something I think about. I’m just trying to do my job.”

But when Torey Smart applied for a job in the MSSU Bookstore, her role in a band was front and center on her resume.

“It was either put it on my resume or have a two-year gap where there was nothing,” she says.

The Missouri Southern staff members make up two-thirds of Granger, a Joplin band prepping for a summer release of their first album, “Dear Sam.” Along with Hunter Vaughn (who boasts his own connection to Missouri Southern – attending his high-school prom here), the band recently visited University Relations & Marketing for our first-ever “Behind the Mic” performance.

Scaling back their power-pop, punk and rock sensibilities for an acoustic performance of songs “All My Friends Have Wi-Fi” and title track “Dear Sam,” the group showcases their flair for catchy melodies and harmonies, and a lively aesthetic that comes from their history together.

The three were formally in Of Course Not – another local band they say came to an end after an ill-fated show in Las Vegas. (Consider a pop-punk band on the bill for a hip-hop show, performing without a PA system for an audience that largely snuck into the venue without paying and an overly enthusiastic hype man with an itchy trigger finger on an air horn sound effect … you get the picture.)

“That was the night we decided we no longer wanted to be Of Course Not,” says Smart. “We were going to come home, write and record an album and change our band name.”

“Granger is what rose from the ashes of Of Course Not,” says DeWitt. “We haven’t done any touring yet. I’m sure we will, but we’ll most likely skip Las Vegas.”

To keep up with the band, check them out (as well as Torey’s recipe for some amazing enchiladas) on Facebook at