Massachusetts native Mark Erelli is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer and has been in the Boston music scene as a professional for almost 20 years.
He just released Mixtape – a compilation of covers from musicians who inspire him.
We had a great conversation covering his high school bands, the link between science and music, his move from entomology to full time musician, his thoughts on collaboration in the writing process and also the importance of reading instructions on smoke machine use.
Song 1: Brokedown Palace (Mixtape)
Song 2: Basement Days (Little Vigils)
Song 3: French King (For a Song)
Song 1: Ophelia (Mixtape)
Song 2: Against All Odds (Mixtape)
Chuck and Ron know all their listeners have frequently pondered the following question:
What do their Mom’s think of Above The Basement?
They decided to get to the bottom of it! After a lovely brunch at Woods Hill Table they sat with professional mothers Gloria Clough and Judy Hirschberg. They pestered them with questions and let them tell embarrassing stories about them - all the while fishing for compliments that only a mother could give.
Song 1: Maggie (Ron Hirschberg - 1995)
Song 2: Sometimes (After The Frost - Northern Point) - 2010)
Song 3: This Time (Last Call For Opinions - The Butler Frogs)
We met with David Wax and Suz Slezak - appropriately enough in a guesthouse where they were staying with their own family of four.
They are on a 10 city tour as a duo - humming along the way with new creations of melodies and lyrics while at the same time teaching their kids a thing or two about language, culture and the road.
Their music will both soothe and surprise you, treating the ears with harmonies and often unexpected but pleasant repetitive lines and hooks - – it is an anthropological journey into their own Mexo-Americana connection.
This 2 piece is usually a 5 piece band and - spoiler alert - the upcoming touring show seems to be expanding to a 7 piece in a town near you soon.
Song 1: Every Time Katie (Guesthouse)
Song 2: Wheelbarrow Baby (Electric Artifacts)
Song 3: Guesthouse (Guesthouse)
Song 4: Harder Before It Gets Easier (Knock Knock Get Up)
Live Song 1: Time Will Not Track us Down (Guesthouse)
Live Song 2: Lavender Street (Everything is Saved)
The final installment of our Boston Children's Chorus episodes!
We sat with BCC Founder Hubie Jones and a few board members, sponsors and supporters, including Joel and Sue Sherman, Meg Clough and Bob Rivers just before the Boston Children's Chorus Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Symphony Hall Boston.
We also had the unique opportunity to talk once again not only to current BCC singers, but a few alumni as well!
We got their thoughts on the event, the importance of such a wonderful program and the example the kids of the BCC sets for us all.
Song 1: A Change Is Gonna Come
Song 2: Pride - In The Name Of Love
Song 3: Before My Time
Song 4: We Are One
Song 5: Amazing Grace
We talked with Matthew Stubbs as he was just about to take the floor with his band Matthew Stubbs and The Antiguas for his 2017 Boston Music Award winning residency DownBeat Mondays at The Sinclair.
The B-Movies showing on the TVs along with the psychedelic light show and animation coloring the band create a surreal environment – made all the more amazing by the fantastic instrumental mix of what has been called Acid Blues.
While he has two great solo albums under his belt - he just released his first self titled album with The Antiguas (called Matthew Stubbs and The Antiguas).
But you gotta hear these guys live to really appreciate the entire package.
Song List: All songs from their self titled album Matthew Stubbs and The Antiguas.
Song 1: Del Diablo
Song 2: El Segundo
Song 3: Unwinder
We caught Vancil just before he departed for his 18 month journey as principle drummer on Hamilton: An American Musical.
Hailing from Boston, Vancil is an award winning jazz drummer, producer and musical director. Vancil, or “Coop” talked with us at Charles Haynes’s studio about academic music, sharpening the tools and becoming a listener.
We spoke about his beginnings as an eager 4th grader in the Metco program in Wellesley, MA and his road to becoming a sought after professional musician embarking on a tour with the most talked about musical of our generation.
Song 1: Song For My Father (Vancil Cooper/Gabriela Martina)
Song 2: Open (Lindsay Lucas)
British pianist, vocalist and performer Tom Odell writes and sings from the soul and gives an unforgettable live performance with his band that is both modern and classic at the same time.
We were thrilled to sit at Strongroom Studios in East London where he was putting the final touches on his latest album. The surrounding color and lighting around the instruments made up for the fact that I kicked over his tea and Ronnie left 2 very expensive microphones in the back seat of the Uber we took to get there – which we fortunately got back later that evening.
This was a special trip for us at Above The Basement as two Bostonians visiting England. There was a lot of healing that needed to happen following the Boston bombing in 2013 ¬- and it’s fitting that we sat in Strongroom Studios when Tom’s song Heal was featured in the movie Stronger.
To that end we would like to dedicate this episode and the inspiring music behind it to the healing victims, their families and caregivers throughout our Boston hospitals - in particular the amazing staff at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital – whose motto is, appropriately enough - "Find Your Strength".
Song 1: Concrete (Wrong Crowd)
Song 2: Heal (Long Way Down)
Song 3: Somehow (Wrong Crowd)
Song 4: Constellations (Wrong Crowd)
Song 5: Supposed To Be (Long Way Down)