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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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Now displaying: May, 2019
May 30, 2019

With a voice that transcends not only genres but generations, it is fitting that Melinda Doolittle came back as a special guest performer for the third time with our friends at The Boston Children’s Chorus.

We sat with Ms. Doolittle just before the BCC’s final performance of the season at the iconic Wang Theater. The theme for this concert was “Lift Every Voice,” with gratitude and celebration of the women in our lives - past, present and future.

While Chuck was taking the day off celebrating two young women in his life as they performed in dance, Ronnie was joined by friend and ATB guest co-host Ike Walker. Ike and Ronnie had the honor to share the mic with a couple of super women of the future, their own daughters and BCC singers, Izzy and Abby.

Melinda is a highly sought after background vocalist singing for musical icons including Michael McDonald, Aretha Franklin, Aaron Neville and Jonny Lang. She was introduced to millions of listeners and viewers on American Idol in 2007 and she brought the house down.

She has sung at the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame and The White House and has been a guest at Boston Pops and a featured performer at the 2015 Boston Pops Fourth of July Spectacular.

She is currently headlining her own soulful show Great American Soul Book.

May 24, 2019

We are always fascinated to talk about the state of Boston music and Boston music history with people in the business. Terrestrial radio is a huge part of that – WBCN, WFNX, WZLX - if you grew up in Boston those stations were a seminal way to discover new bands that inspired so many musicians.

We met Anngelle Wood at a State of Live Music event that she hosted at iZotope offices in Cambridge when we were trying to learn a bit more about – well – the current state of live music. Whatever your thoughts on the Boston music scene, Anngelle is doing her part to share the legacy and tell the story of Boston Rock and Roll that continues to inspire musicians young and old.

Anngelle began and is still passionate about radio and has worked at all the legendary Boston radio stations including WBCN, WFNX and WZLX. She is the host of Boston Emissions which began airing on WBCN back in the 80's and has been instrumental in introducing and establishing thousands of bands from Boston and New England and she also hosts and produces the great Rock and Roll Rumble that just celebrated their 40th Anniversary.

We plan on publishing a retrospective on the Rumble and its history in the next month or so.

But it was great to talk with Anngelle who works hard to promote and support great Boston Rock and Roll.

Note: Explicit Language

Song List:

Song 1: Cut from Boston Emissions, broadcast March 14th, 2019
Song 2: Suburban Murders – Brix n’ Mortar (Freshcut)
Song 3: Still - Corner Soul (Instant Gratification)
Song 4: Falling Backwards –Set Fire (Aura)
Song 5: The Theft – Circus Trees (Sakura)
Song 6: Smoke Rolls – Set Fire (Aura)

May 16, 2019

We sat with Zumix founder Madeleine Steczynski. ZUMIX is an East Boston-based nonprofit organization dedicated to building the Boston community through music and creative technology.

What began as an idea around a kitchen table has blossomed into a wonderful place for kids to create and learn. As you will hear from Madeleine, they are taught valuable skills to instill confidence, collaboration and creativity in music that will follow them their entire life.

Their core belief is that music is the most powerful means of developing adolescent self-identity. Their award-winning music and creative technology programming is designed to equip youth with the tools necessary to reach their full potential, while creating a safe space for youth to explore who they are and who they want to be.

Co-hosting this time around is Kristina Latino. Kristina is founder and owner of CornerScape - an independent artist management company.

Song List:

(All songs by Wild Painting, from their album Emotions (available on iTunes & Spotify). Members include ZUMIX participants Angelina Botticcelli, Mario Dueñas, Juan Gutierrez, and Mario Jarjour.)

Song 1: Within You
Song 2: Voice Memo
Song 3: Ride

May 9, 2019

We met up with phenom guitarist and singer Arielle and her band as they road tripped in from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland to The Red Room @ Cafe 939 at Berklee College of Music.

Arielle has toured North America and the UK, opening for the likes of Eric Johnson, Greg Alman, Heart, Joan Jett and many others and none other than Brian May of Queen hand picked her for his production of We Will Rock You which was based on the songs of Queen.

She’s been on the cover of Guitar Player magazine and Vince Gill proclaimed her as one of the top 5 Best New Guitarists.

She has quite a story, and you should read her entire bio and hear her music at www.imarielle.com.

\We talked about guitars, lyrics and melody, and women in music and took questions from the cozy audience at Café 939 and then had the treat of watching her play for a house full of Arielle fans.

We had a great evening taking to this thoughtful and talented musician.

Song List:

Song 2: Magick Again
Song 3: Devil's Disguise

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