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Above The Basement - Boston Music and Conversation

Above The Basement is a Boston based podcast hosted by Chuck Clough and Ronnie Hirschberg that features casual and candid discussions with local, national and international musicians, artists, producers and others from Boston and beyond. The conversations offer experiences from those shaping our music community and for whom music is a passion. You hear their stories, hardships faced and overcome...and why they love what they do. While music is the common thread, Above The Basement has evolved into conversations that harness human interest, culture and community, bridging into discussions about health, science, education and other aspects of life.
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Above The Basement - Boston Music and Conversation
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Aug 15, 2018

In this day and age we all seem to crave the connection to others that seems to be missing in this environment of screens and social media. Will Dailey wants to break down that wall. And if you don’t want to climb over the remaining pieces, well he is OK with that.

With his latest album Golden Walker Will wants you to turn off those distractions. To drop the needle on the album and listen. We loathe to place Will into a nice box by calling him a singer-songwriter, because somehow it is not quite so simple.

What we can say about him is that he is a very thoughtful guy and we really enjoyed spending time with him to talk about that missing connection, being an indie artist and having no regrets.

Song List:

Song 1: Bad Behavior (Golden Walker)
Song 2: He Better be Alive (Golden Walker)
Song 3: Up To Your Heart (Golden Walker)
Song 4: Castle of Pretending (National Throat)

Live Song: It Already Would Have Not Worked Out By Now

Aug 8, 2018

Arnold McCuller. As his website states – you may not know the name, but you certainly know the voice.

Every summer, James Taylor and his wonderful band heads to Tanglewood for their yearly concert and we jumped at the opportunity to see if we could speak to someone we had just seen on our London trip last year when we caught Phil Collins on his Not Dead Yet tour at Royal Albert Hall.

We met up with Arnold in a town just outside of Tanglewood at his hotel over oysters and deviled eggs.

Arnold got his start in the original touring production of the iconic musical HAIR and from there he carved out an amazing collaborative and solo career – becoming the Zelig of featured vocalists, having performed with Phil Collins, James Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt to name just a few – while also touring on his solo work.

Arnold is a funny guy and we had a great and fairly hilarious conversation.

We think James Taylor said it best when he said “Arnold McCuller is what’s going on, that’s always been the case and it always will be.”

Song List:

Song 1: Daddy's All Gone
Song 2: Nowhere To Run
Song 3: Soul Searchin'

Jul 30, 2018

"We're not trying to tell you what to think," is what Francis Jalbert tells us about the philosophy behind every Cirque du Soleil production.

LUZIA by Cirque du Soleil, A Waking Dream of Mexico, is no different.

The creativity that is the genius of Cirque combines movement, music, color, light and the element of risk all in one show, and at the same time beautifully embeds culture. The audience can dream with these incredible performers as they navigate the story and flavor of Mexico.

Luzia is 2 1/2 years old and has been wowing audiences on its US tour. We sat with vocalist Majo Cornejo, acrobat Kelly McDonald, and football freestylers Laura Biondo and Abou Traore as they finish 2 more weeks in our neighborhood before moving on to Mexico for a 4 month tour.

And it was a special day at the Big Top / Suffolk Downs as the gang at Luzia was visited by Femi Hollinger-Janzen of the New England Revolution to share some soccer skills, learn and chat freestyle.

Song List:

Song 1: Adagio
Song 2: Juggling
Song 3: Football Dance

Jul 27, 2018

A performance by Chris Trapper - Live at City Winery - June 24, 2018 in Boston, MA.

Recorded after our second ConcertCast - a conversation and performance in front of a live audience.

To listen to the entire conversation, go here: http://abovetheb.libsyn.com/episode-106-chris-trapper

Song List:

Song 1: Everything Shines
Song 2: The Losing End
Song 3: Don’t Let Your Monday Own Your Sunday
Song 4: Gone Again
Song 5: Into The bright Lights
Song 6: This Time
Song 7: Skin
Song 8: Keg On My Coffin

 

Jul 25, 2018

Our very first ConcertCast with Brent Shuttleworth was an experiment. Have our guest play a few, sit with us for 20 minutes or so and have a Q&A in front of a live audience followed by a full performance. It was an amazing evening and Brent brought the house down.

So we decided to up our game.

Back in June we met at the beautiful City Winery in Boston in front of a sold out Haymarket Lounge for our second ConcertCast with prolific Singer-Songwriter and front man for Boston’s own The Push Stars Chris Trapper. And if we do say so ourselves it was a huge success!

It was through sitting with Chris for our conversation that we were really able to get an idea of what makes him tick – his love of the road, the importance of family and how gratitude has become a big part of who he is.

The entire live performance from this night will be available on our next In Concert Series episode by subscribing to our podcast which you can do at abovethebasement.com.

Song List: (all songs are LIVE)

Song 1: Living Downtown
Song 2: Paint The Town
Song 3: The Accident

Jul 18, 2018

We met with a few of the fellas from the Boston electronic-pop band Bearstronaut - David Martineau and Nate Marsden at The Sinclair Kitchen.

We quickly went through all the annoying questions - where their name came from and what band do they sound like, and got to the important stuff - their appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live a year ago, what was the name of the recent Harrison Ford movie not named Star Wars or Regarding Henry, whether "Medieval" is a time period or a level of evilness, and what makes a good bachelor party.

All in all we had a great conversation.

Song List:

Song 1: Shadow (Telecoast)
Song 2: Moniker (Moniker - Single)
Song 3: Working Nights (Working Nights - Single)
Song 4: Miracle Mile (Miracle Mile - Single)

Jul 11, 2018

We were able to catch the boys of Old Crow Medicine Show at their Master Class at Berklee College of Music – and what we learned there is that they are not only a great band, but a great bunch of guys too.

It was evident that evening as well when they played for The Umbrella Community Arts Center event and had the crowd on their feet dancing the entire show.

These former buskers now have two Grammy Awards and their classic single, "Wagon Wheel" went Platinum in 2013 for selling over 1,000,000 copies. 

They received the honor of being inducted as members of the Grand Ole Opry, and they just released their latest album Volunteer.

Song List:

Song 1:   Flicker & Shine (Volunteer)
Song 2:   Child of the Mississippi (Volunteer)

Live Song - Halifax Pier (A Capella)

Jul 4, 2018

Having the title of Director Of Good Vibes would be a daunting title for any normally pessimistic human being, but James MacDonald is an optimist.

Formerly with the Life Is Good Festival, James started Festival At The Farm in Canton, MA which will take place in September and features Amos Lee, Dawes, and former ATB guests Martin Sexton, Ali McGuirk and Jesse Dee as well as one of our upcoming guests Will Dailey among many others.

The music in this episode is from some of these artists. James has worked in all areas of music including artist management, but now devotes all his time to this amazing festival.

But the weekend is more than just music. It is a celebration that offers locally-sourced and inspired food vendors, a farmers market, non-profits, backyard games, a craft vendor marketplace and even includes music for the kids.

We also discovered that James is a wonderful guy.

Song List:

Song 1: Long Time (Ali McGuirk - Slow Burn)
Song 2: On My Mind, In My Heart (Jesse Dee - On My Mind, In My Heart)
Song 3: When It Dies (Will Dailey - Golden Walker)

Jun 28, 2018

We took a trip to beautiful Symphony Hall in early June to sit with Tanglewood Festival Chorus Conductor and Boston Symphony Orchestra Choral Director James Burton. Joining us was choir member by night and Google start-up entrepreneur by day, Will Koffel.

We talked the ins and outs of working in a chorus, conducting 250 or so choral members, singing in different languages, the blending of the many different voices in a chorus and the wonders of being onstage with Pete Townsend during the epic production of Quadrephenia.

Song List:

Song 1: Thompson: Alleluia (James Burton: Schola Cantorum of Oxford)
Song 2: Kaddish, Symphony No. 3 (BSO, Guerrero, Bernstein)

 

Join us on Above The Basement! Go to www.patreon.com/abovethebasement for more information.

Jun 20, 2018

With a background in radio, Jim Olsen co-founded Signature Sounds with Mark Thayer in Northampton, MA in 1995 and works with some of the finest singer-songwriter, Americana, modern folk and rock musicians around, including Kris Delmhorst, Lake Street Dive, Twisted Pine, Chris Smither, Peter Mulvey, Erin McKeown, Josh Ritter and Lori McKenna - to name just a few.

He helped guide Signature Sounds through the internet era while fostering a community of musicians who not only have their own projects but have collaborated with other Signature artists to create 'supergroups' like Redbird, Barnstar! and The Pine Hill Project.

They run The Green River Festival which was named one of “fifty essential summer music festivals” by The New York Times and is celebrating it's 32nd year.

Song List:

Song 1: Leave The Light On - Chris Smither (Leave The Light On) Song 2: Stealing Kisses - Lori McKenna (Bittertown)
Song 3: Bad Self Portraits - Lake Street Dive (Bad Self Portraits)
Song 4: Hold On Me - Twisted Pine (Twisted Pine)

 

Join us at Above The Basement! Go to www.patreon.com/abovethebasement for more information.

Jun 15, 2018

Meet Mickey Hart: part philosopher, scientist, shaman…and passionate drummer. Mickey and The Grateful Dead have offered up the groove and the melody for some of the most iconic themes of our generation.

He is a musicologist, a student of polyrhythms and a believer in the connections we all have to rhythm. Mickey has two Grammys and has collaborated with a Nobel Prize in Physics winner, stem-cell researchers and neuroscientists including the late, great Oliver Sacks.

He is a true supporter of music therapy and the mechanisms behind the healing power of music for not only the injured or neurologically changed, but for the well-being of people from all cultures.

In 1967 he was introduced to the newly formed Grateful Dead by drummer Bill Kreutzmann, and the Big Bang of the Jam Band was formed with Mr. Jerry Garcia at the helm.

His telepathic relationship on and off the stage with band members old and new has transcended decades, leading Mickey to the latest chapter: bringing three generations of fans together for this year’s tour with Dead and Company.

This is Part Two of Two...

Song List:

Song 1: Ripple (Studio version)
Song 2: Not Fade Away (Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA Oct.22, 1978)
Song 3: The Music Never Stopped (Radio City Music Hall Oct 29, 1980)

 

Join us at Above The Basement! Go to www.patreon.com/abovethebasement for more information.

Jun 13, 2018

Meet Mickey Hart: part philosopher, scientist, shaman…and passionate drummer. Mickey and The Grateful Dead have offered up the groove and the melody for some of the most iconic themes of our generation.

He is a musicologist, a student of polyrhythms and a believer in the connections we all have to rhythm.

Mickey has two Grammys and has collaborated with a Nobel Prize in Physics winner, stem-cell researchers and neuroscientists including the late, great Oliver Sacks.

He is a true supporter of music therapy and the mechanisms behind the healing power of music for not only the injured or neurologically changed, but for the well-being of people from all cultures.

In 1967 he was introduced to the newly formed Grateful Dead by drummer Bill Kreutzmann, and the Big Bang of the Jam Band was formed with Mr. Jerry Garcia at the helm.

His telepathic relationship on and off the stage with band members old and new has transcended decades, leading Mickey to the latest chapter: bringing three generations of fans together for this year’s tour with Dead and Company.

This is Part One of a Two Part episode

Song List:

Song 1: Scarlet Begonias (Studio version)
Song 2: Truckin' (Live at Madison Square Garden, NY, Sept. 1990)
Song 3: Jerry (RAMU)

 

Join us at Above The Basement!

Go to www.patreon.com/abovethebasement for more information.

Jun 11, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen and all fans of On Your Feet!

Here is our final installment of Take 5 Tuesday where we offer you a snippet of the conversation with On Your Feet! band members Jorge Casas (bass) and Clay Ostwald (music director/keyboards), two of the original members of the Miami Sound Machine.

Above The Basement - Boston Music and Conversation podcast sat down with these fine musicians who helped bring their iconic songs to the Broadway stage.

We are pleased to share with you portions of that conversation with our Take 5 Tuesday episodes.

So, take 5 minutes and sit back and enjoy each “Take 5 Tuesday!”

Click here to listen to the entire episode: http://abovetheb.libsyn.com/episode-091-on-your-feet

Or go to www.abovethebasement.com.

Song List: All songs from On Your Feet - Original Broadway Cast Recording

Song 1: Get On Your Feet
Song 2: Rhythm Is Gonna Get You

Jun 6, 2018

Illustrator and author Tony Diterlizzi got his start drawing for Dungeons & Dragons but soon began "worldbuilding" though his books that include Jimmy Zangwow's Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure, The Spider and Fly and with writer Holly Black The Spiderwick Chronicles to name only a few of his wonderful books.

Angela has worked as a make-up artist in film and TV including Saturday Night Live and MTV and musicians including Dave Matthews Band, Duran Duran and Depeche Mode and is the author of several award winning children's books that include Say What, Some Bugs and Baby Love.

They are both amazing.

Song List:

A portion of The Spiderwick Chronicles audiobook
(Tony DiTerlizzi/Holly Black)

Read by Mark Hamill

 

Join us at Above The Basement!

Go to www.patreon.com/abovethebasement for more information.

Jun 4, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen and all fans of On Your Feet!

Here is our fourth installment of Take 5 Tuesday where we offer you a snippet of the conversation with On Your Feet! band members Jorge Casas (bass) and Clay Ostwald (music director/keyboards), two of the original members of the Miami Sound Machine.

Above The Basement - Boston Music and Conversation podcast sat down with these fine musicians who helped bring their iconic songs to the Broadway stage.

We are pleased to share with you portions of that conversation with our Take 5 Tuesday episodes.

So, take 5 minutes and sit back and enjoy each “Take 5 Tuesday!”

Click here to listen to the entire episode: http://abovetheb.libsyn.com/episode-091-on-your-feet

Or go to www.abovethebasement.com.

Song List: All songs from On Your Feet - Original Broadway Cast Recording

Song 1: Get On Your Feet
Song 2: Rhythm Is Gonna Get You

May 30, 2018

Violist and holistic educator, Ashe has played all over the world with a number orchestras and ensembles, and has collaborated with many living composers including Thomas Adès, Steve Reich, and Jeffrey Mumford to name just a few.

She has become a voice for social change through her work as Artistic Director of Castle of our Skins – a Boston-based concert and educational series devoted to celebrating Black Artistry through music and is currently working with the Cross Cultural Collective a Black arts collaborative that elevates, celebrates, and promotes African diasporic arts and their creators in Boston and beyond.

Song List:

Song 1: Calvary String Quartet, Movement 3" by Coleridge Taylor-Perkinson (Olga Patramanskaya & James Dargan, violins; Ashe Gordon on viola; Javier Caballero on cello; performed by Castle of our Skins)

Song 2: Sanctum for Viola and Piano by Adolphus Hailstork (pianist Anthony Green)

Song 3: Through the Filtering Dawn of Spreading Daybright" by Jeffrey Mumford (Lizzie Burns, double bass; performed by Castle of our Skins)

Live Song: Angela Davis

 

Join us at Above The Basement! Go to www.patreon.com/abovethebasement for more information.

May 28, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen and all fans of On Your Feet!

Here is our third installment of Take 5 Tuesday where we offer you a snippet of the conversation with On Your Feet! band members Jorge Casas (bass) and Clay Ostwald (music director/keyboards), two of the original members of the Miami Sound Machine.

Above The Basement - Boston Music and Conversation podcast sat down with these fine musicians who helped bring their iconic songs to the Broadway stage.

Every Tuesday for the next 3 weeks, we are pleased to share with you portions of that conversation with our Take 5 Tuesday episodes. So, take 5 minutes and sit back and enjoy each “Take 5 Tuesday!”

Click here to listen to the entire episode: http://abovetheb.libsyn.com/episode-091-on-your-feet

Or go to www.abovethebasement.com.

Song List: All songs from On Your Feet - Original Broadway Cast Recording

Song 1: Conga
Song 2: Rhythm Is Gonna Get You

May 23, 2018

The local evening news in the 80's was such a big part of our day. At 6pm we’d sit down to watch TV and get our fill of what’s happening in our city and the world.

A lot has changed since those days, but the names and faces of the anchors who spoke to us every day are as familiar as they have ever been.

There was recently a reunion of sorts with the Boston WBZ team of Jack Williams, Liz Walker, Bob Lobel, Bruce Schwoegler and of course, Arts and Entertainment reporter Joyce Kulhawik, and it was as if no time had passed since we last saw them.

We ran into Joyce at a Yo Yo Ma Silkroad performance in Cambridge and immediately decided that she needed to come on the show.

Joyce continues to be an advocate for the arts in Boston and also offers her insight and Theater/Movie reviews through her Joyce’s Choices blog. She is a motivational speaker and as a 3 time cancer survivor she has become a tireless crusader against cancer and has raised millions in the support of American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge in Boston that provides cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay when their best hope for effective treatment may be in another city.

May 21, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen and all fans of On Your Feet!:

Here is our second installment of Take 5 Tuesday where we offer you a snippet of the conversation with On Your Feet! band members Jorge Casas (bass) and Clay Ostwald (music director/keyboards), two of the original members of the Miami Sound Machine.

Above The Basement - Boston Music and Conversation podcast sat down with these fine musicians who helped bring their iconic songs to the Broadway stage.

Every Tuesday for the next 3 weeks, we are pleased to share with you portions of that conversation with our Take 5 Tuesday episodes.

So, take 5 minutes and sit back and enjoy each “Take 5 Tuesday!”

Click here to listen to the entire episode:

http://abovetheb.libsyn.com/episode-091-on-your-feet or go to www.abovethebasement.com.

Song List:
All songs from On Your Feet - Original Broadway Cast Recording

Song 1: Mi Tierra
Song 2: Conga

May 16, 2018

We sat with Luke, Russ and Brendan Condon - three brothers from the Boston band Town Meeting a few weeks ago and it quickly went off the rails.

In between several simultaneous conversations we talked tipping, harmonies, Lavar Burton, acoustic music, playing live for a guy and his dog, the meaning of the word Cajon, podcasts…we were all over the place.

But it was certainly a hoot.

These guys sound great and are amazing live. Enjoy!

Song List:

Song 1: Dirty Ol' Demon
Song 2: Till I Die
Song 3: In The Morning

Live Songs:
Song 1: Till I Die
Song 2: Trip Down West

 

Join us at Above The Basement! Go to www.patreon.com/abovethebasement for more information.

May 13, 2018

Ladies and Gentlemen and all fans of On Your Feet!:

We would like to introduce you to the story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan as told in the Broadway national tour of ON YOUR FEET! The Musical.

You can now hear about it from the perspective of On Your Feet! band members Jorge Casas (bass) and Clay Ostwald (music director/keyboards), two of the original members of the Miami Sound Machine.

Our friends at Above The Basement - Boston Music and Conversation podcast sat down with these fine musicians who helped bring their iconic songs to the Broadway stage. 

Every Tuesday for the next 5 weeks, we are pleased to share with you portions of that conversation with our Take 5 Tuesday episodes.

So, take 5 minutes and sit back and enjoy each “Take 5 Tuesday!”

Click here to listen to the entire episode or go to www.abovethebasement.com.

May 12, 2018

A performance by Brent Shuttleworth - Live at Rapscallions - April 11, 2018 in Acton MA.

Recorded after our first ConcertCast - a conversation and performance in front of a live audience.

To listen to the entire conversation, go here: http://abovetheb.libsyn.com/episode-093-brent-shuttleworth

Song List:

Song 1: Black Swan
Song 2: Doc Brown
Song 3: This Must Be Love
Song 4: Just You and Me
Song 5: Where We Begin
Song 6: She Was A Dancer
Song 7: Money Ain't Everything

 

Join us at Above The Basement!
Go to www.patreon.com/abovethebasement for more information.

May 9, 2018

When we got word that Brent Shuttleworth was coming to town, we saw it as an opportunity to celebrate the Nashville / Boston connection, new and old friends, and experience a fresh unique style of songwriting and performing.

We wanted to do something new so we gathered some ATB friends and fans together at Rapscallions Table and Tap in Acton, MA and did our first LIVE episode that we are calling a ConcertCast.

Brent immersed himself into the audience with his music and strong spirit. He worked his craft of combining a classic singer-songwriter vibe along with new beats and loops via a control surface called "Maschine".

We talked about his journey and method, his love for visual art and expression, and how his terrifying assault by several men that caused a head injury and almost killed him changed his perspective on life and his music forever.

This was also a sort of homecoming for Brent as he spent several years here as a kid and we were excited to invite him to the ConcertCast stage for music and conversation.

Song List:

Song 1: Helpless (Witness)
Song 2: For You (Witness)

Live Songs:

Song 1: Say No
Song 2: No Regrets

Check out the entire concert at www.abovethebasement.com!

Join us at Above The Basement! Go to www.patreon.com/abovethebasement for more information.

May 2, 2018

Hip-Hop artist and proud "Queen of the Bean", Dutch ReBelle has earned national attention for her lyrical punch and powerful performances.

In 2014 she was named the Boston Music Awards “Best Hip-Hop Artist” and continues to make her mark in the fantastic Boston Hip-Hop scene.

We talk about her Haitian roots, food, her experience in the Congo and her foray from pre-law into a hip-hop force to be reckoned with.

Song List:

Song 1: I Can't
Song 2: Sunday Morning (feat. Amandi)
Song 3: No Less (ReBelle Diaries)
Song 4: Stripper (feat. 6ixlayne & Prince Smooth)

 

Join us at Above The Basement! Go to www.patreon.com/abovethebasement for more information.

Apr 23, 2018

ON YOUR FEET! The musical is a story of rhythm and resilience.

It covers the lives of Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio Estefan to and through success, and tells a story of setbacks and love. The foundation is built upon music and at its core is the legendary Miami Sound Machine.

We sat down with Jorge Casas and Clay Ostwald of the original members of the Miami Sound Machine, who help bring all these iconic songs to the Broadway stage. We talk about the tour and the transition of pop-Latin-jazz to theater, the accident that changed everything, and the recovery and success of “cross over” Cuban American Music that Gloria, Emilio and the Miami Sound Machine brought to the world.

The show is currently playing at the Boston Opera House through April 29th, 2018.

Go to www.boston.broadway.com for more information.

Song List:

All songs from On Your Feet: Original Broadway Cast Recording

Song 1: Get On Your Feet
Song 2: Conga
Song 3 Rhythm Is Gonna Get You

Photo credit: 2480: ON YOUR FEET! Band featuring members of the Miami Sound Machine: Clay Ostwald (Music Director/Keyboard), Jorge Casas (bass), Edward Bonilla (percussion) and Theodore Mulet (trombone), (c) Matthew Murphy.

Join us at Above The Basement!
Go to www.patreon.com/abovethebasement for more information.

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