Joe Dillstrom

A modern troubadour based in the Ozarks.

Joe Dillstrom

With an understated guitar style and a velvet baritone voice, Joe’s warm, intimate, and engaging stage presence aspires to the timelessness of his influences. He is a singer-songwriter in the tradition of James Taylor, Neil Young, Jim Croce, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, and early Tom Waits.

Dillstrom’s songbook consists of his compositions as well as standards from jazz, blues, country, and folk artists from the 30s-70s. He is prone to surprising audiences with evidence of influence by such movers and motivators as Chuck Berry, Hank Williams, and selections from the Great American Songbook. With a subtle, refined delivery that suggests a folky, introspective Nat King Cole, Joe is at once relaxed and assured.

Silvery and smooth as silk, Dillstrom’s maturity as a songwriter and performer is evidenced by the breadth and style of his repertoire. Though nostalgia and homage feel like words for the toolbox when describing Joe’s work, it would be a mistake to call it retro—he’s not playacting, not doing impressions. Whether it’s his compositions or covers, under his delivery, this work belongs to Joe—and to today.

You’re alive in dead headlights
And every welcome sign’s goodbye
~ Joe Dillstrom
“Take A Page (Out of Me)”
Highways & Byways
Joe Dillstrom


A throwback to the troubadour tradition of the late 60s and early 70s, Joe is a sophisticated songwriter with a distinctly literary edge. His tasteful, articulate, and melodic compositions explore the vast complexity of the human equation.

Joe’s searching lyrics are plaintive, mournful, thoughtful, evoking a sense of loss, of time passing by, leaving us behind, speeding away … to where? He captures the feeling of searching for something elusive, haunted by the absence of something you can almost name. A wordsmith to be sure.

Lately I’m finding that I’m not who I thought I was.
Lately I’m finding that the same goes for all of us.
~ Joe Dillstrom
Highways and Byways

Joe Dillstrom


Japanese holdouts, shopping mall panic attacks, quiet summer nights. Jorge Luis Borges, Chekhov, Fats Domino. These are the origins of Joe Dillstrom’s artistry. Any fragment could spark a song, and he delivers his songs simply. ~ Ed Peaco, Springfield News-Leader

Joe captures perfectly with his memory-evoking lyrics that fascinating truth of humanity: Despite it being a solitary journey, we all take it at one time or another. A unique experience shared by the masses. A singular journey all your own mirrored in everyone around you … Joe breathes life into those specific memories and moments we have each experienced in our separate lives. In this way, much as his songs, he links us together as well. ~ Bambi Grinder, NoteWorthy Music

Joe Dillstrom

Every road reads just like a marquee
With the headline act billed as ‘Don’t Look Back’

~ Joe Dillstrom
“In A Violet Night”
Highways & Byways

Joe Dillstrom will get you thinking about life. He’ll also almost help you understand algebra or at least entertain the thought of liking it. A Springfield born singer, songwriter and performer, Joe shares his stories of music and the connections that he’s made to get where he’s currently ‘living’ in his musical journey. You may need to kick back, and grab a dictionary, and follow along with Joe’s ideas and desires and dreams. He’s extremely well read and well spoken. ~ Unsung Dreamers

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. … The conglomeration of diners, jukeboxes, literary giants and post-war art has blended itself well in Joe Dillstrom’s music. As he told me, he’s just trying to paint our experiences with manipulated air. ~ Jessica Balisle, Soundcheck, KSMU Radio

If you aren’t already listening, then I encourage you to start. ~ Divide & Conquer


Heart String Tugs

A forthcoming collection of ballads and love songs, and Joe Dillstrom’s first album with an ensemble. Currently recording, to be released Spring 2021.

Joe Dillstrom: Highways & Byways

Highways & Byways

Each of the twelve songs on Highways & Byways has a different sound, but Joe’s strong and gentle voice twines them together. Road songs, singalongs, and bar-fly lullabies—all those small, potent moments of Self that occur somewhere between ‘E’ and ‘F’—Empty diners, old timers, and their own half-remembered brake-light flights—The dog-tag grandeur of postwar promises—The tawny promise of wheat fields in the morning sun—Casey’s Kona blend and $38 motels—Chuck Berry bursting out of some busted up jukebox in Helena, Arkansas at 7:33AM CDT—and part of you is out there too, somewhere, just off of an on-ramp, combing the morning grain; that elusive, long-wandering Yonder you’ve barreled towards so many times before—ghosts, coasts, highways and byways.

All good stories need a fool to tell.
~ Joe Dillstrom

Joe regularly posts live performance videos on YouTube, and his albums are available on all digital streaming services.


Contact NoteWorthy Music

For Booking Information

Dale McCurry | | 970.318.6916

Bambi Grinder | | 417.379.4072