Above The Basement - Boston Music and Conversation

Above the Basement offers casual and candid discussions with musicians, artists, producers and others from Boston and beyond. The conversations offer experiences ​from those shaping Boston's music community and for whom music is a passion. You'll hear their stories, hardships ​​faced and overcome...and why they love what they do.
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Above The Basement - Boston Music and Conversation


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Now displaying: August, 2017
Aug 30, 2017

This award winning singer-songwriter, actor and artist is a force to be reckoned with. Ruby's deep, unique voice is surprising at first, but she soon pulls you into her resonant sound with powerful lyrics and amazing vocal range.

Ruby pays homage to Leonard Cohen, Andy Warhol and Roy Orbison in our conversation about singing, acting, writing, learning and growing.

Aug 23, 2017

So this is our 50th episode and Ronnie and I decided to have a State of the Conversation.

What an amazing year! We've been downloaded in all 50 states (again, a nice round number) and in over 50 countries (we sense a trend here...).

We can't say enough how much we appreciate our listeners and the positive feedback we've received. We've been fortunate to have some unbelievable talent on the show with unique stories and wonderful performances from all walks of music - classical, jazz, hip-hop, rock,'s becoming a long list.

We strive to introduce our listeners to local artists who have made their mark on the Boston music scene and at the same time bring nationally recognized artists to the conversation who have a connection to Boston in unique ways.

The rest of 2017 is filling up with more brilliant artists, performers and Boston movers and shakers - we hope you get a chance to discover what they have to offer.

Aug 16, 2017

Charles Haynes is a drummer, producer, musical director and strong believer in the power of listening. He learned this through constant gigging at one of Boston oldest family owned jazz clubs in Boston, Wally’s Café. 

Charles has toured with Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, MIA and Queen Latifah among many others and is the owner of Herd Studios – a boutique mixing, mastering and recording studio in Boston. You can read more about it at 

In this episode we talk about importance of listening and trust and how allowing space between musicians on stage can create magic.

Aug 10, 2017

This year marks the bicentennial of the birth of Henry David Thoreau, local environmentalist, scientist and artist. After talking with the founder of the Walden Woods project, Don Henley, it becomes clear that Thoreau influences us all now more than ever 200 years later.

During college in the late 60s, it was Emerson's work that initially ignited Don Henley's songwriting interest. And it was Thoreau's political, environmental and social justice work that resonated with Don, influencing his life and music.

Whether he is known to you as the cofounder of The Eagles, singer, drummer or prolific songwriter, Don Henley is actively helping to carry Thoreau's messages forward to new generations through his work with the Thoreau Institute at Walden.

We spoke with him about this mission at The Walden Woods Project's Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods Library.

Songs or portions thereof included: Train in the Distance, Take a Picture of This and Praying for Rain off of his 2015 solo album Cass County.

Aug 6, 2017

As we were sitting at The Thoreau Institute Library in Lincoln, Massachusetts waiting for Don Henley to arrive we were having a nice chat with Thoreau Scholar Jeffrey Cramer and decided to turn on the mics and have a quick discussion about Thoreau. 

Jeff is the Curator of Collections at the Walden Woods Project's Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods Library and is the editor of annotated editions of both Walden and The Maine Woods as well as the author of several other award winning books. His essays and other writings have appeared in The Massachusetts ReviewThe Literary Review, and The Christian Science Monitor among others

There is a quote on his website at from Jim Flemming, of Wisconsin Public Radio that says "Jeffrey Cramer lives and breathes Thoreau.  He may know more about the bard at Walden Pond than anyone else alive."

After seeing that what could we do but take advantage of this opportunity and pester him with questions.

Aug 2, 2017

Seeing Walter and his band of merry musicians play live is a visceral experience not to be missed. With a mix of Dr. Teeth, Edward Gorey and Tim Burton, they bring legit musical chops, original songwriting and a magical artistry to the stage.

We thought this might be an interesting one and we were not disappointed.

We had a really fun time with these wonderful people – and we mean that – these are great people.  With lots of cursing, laughing and crazy stories – we think you are going to enjoy this one.