Episode 001 - State of the Conversation

State of the Conversation

State of the Conversation

Want to listen to more episodes? Go to our episodes page!

recorded March 20, 2016
published June 15, 2016

Listen here:

The very first conversation with hosts Chuck Clough and Ronnie Hirschberg.  

They discuss how Above the Basement came to be, what they hope to do and their current projects.

Show notes:

Chuck 0:00 Above The Basement - Boston Music and Conversation is recorded at beautiful Woods Hill Table restaurant in West Concord, Massachusetts. Woods Hill Table owns a farm in Bath, New Hampshire where they raise their own meat. They offer full raw bar and fresh fish caught off the coast of Massachusetts and they even harvest their own maple syrup and honey for use in the restaurant. Local farms supply all their vegetables and grains and Chef Charlie Foster uses international cooking techniques to create fantastic seasonally focused cuisine. Go to WoodsHillTable.co m for reservations or call 978.369.6300.

Testing One, two, Testing.

Testing. All right, I think I sound as good as you this time.

Okay, Ron, so we've tried this, this is our third attempt to try episode one Above The Basement Boston Music and Conversation and we are finally getting it. We've got down to a science now this whole recording thing, at least as, scientific as we've been able to make it up until now. We're going to get better next time because we have Pro Tools. But we wanted to have this first one so we can explain who we are, what we're doing just a quickie. So that there's some kind of context about what we're doing.

Ronnie 1:14 That's a great idea.

Chuck 1:15 Why don't you start? What are we doing?

Ronnie 1:17 What, uh, when you said we have it down to a science? Did you really mean you? Because I really didn't do anything. With that I really want to congratulate you for first of all, let me let me take this opportunity to say this is a really exciting idea. And I think, I think that Chuck has had and I'm talking to the audience right now I'm talking to all of you out there.

Chuck 1:38 All five.

Ronnie 1:40 You know, I this was a brainchild from, from Chuck Clough. And I think that when we met, what, five, six years ago, we started talking about music and the fact that we are getting on in a couple years and we play music, we write music, we've had some experience in the past and other bands and groups, Chuck, had some acting experienc, I did not. Anyway, we had some other sort of things and tales we wanted to bring to the to the new chapter, I should say. And we decided writing to write together and we decided to play in a cover band. I sort of joined Chuck's cover band, The Butler Frogs as a keyboard player. And along with David, Timmy, and Greg,

Chuck 2:19 we're not a cover band. We play covers sometimes. But we also write our own stuff.

Ronnie 2:23 We do now. No, yeah, no, you're right. Yeah. True. True. So I misspoke. But so anyway, it's a great cover band. And and you know, what's great about it, too, is that it's something where we are we are original, we bring our own styles to these classic, amazing songs. And they almost become Butler Frog songs. That's what I like about it. And yeah, recently in the studio, I want to talk about that a little later, too. We've we actually have something we want to announce about a new EP. Anyway, so I digress. But I really want to thank you, Chuck, for putting this together. Because we have a lot of fun. We have through the sort of Boston and west of Boston, you know, landscape, we've managed to network and meet some folks. And hopefully we can talk to some musicians.

Chuck 3:12 Well, part of the part of this idea, thank you very much for all that. But part of this idea came from your original singer songwriter series, the Deer Mountain Music Songwriter Series that you had where you would have local musicians come and you would have you in a band that you had separately would learn their learn a few their songs, you play some of your own songs, you invited me up to be one of your, in the band, the background there. And actually, I was one of the guests. As a matter of fact, I was one of the one of the guys. So that idea of when we started meeting all these amazing musicians, giving them a voice on stage to sing and perform, which is one thing but they also have all have some, some pretty great stories, I think, and interesting things happening to them. Now these are people who are active musicians or not just musicians, we've talked to a radio DJ, we've talked to, we're going to talk to some producers. We're going to talk to people in Boston, or people coming through Boston, and we're going to see what they're doing and how they're doing it. And so these are really interesting people and talented people.

Ronnie 4:13 Yeah, I like how diverse it is in sort of, we're kind of we're narrowly somewhat narrowly focused. You got to get those..

Oh Perry's here. Speaking of

Chuck 4:24 Okay. Alright, so we're back. So Perry was just here, Perry's the one of our amazing helpers who helped us get this rig up and running. And so he's been generous, generous enough with his time. And he's also going to be one of our guests eventually, too

Ronnie 4:39 Perry Bakalos.

Chuck 4:40 Yes. From great guitar player from Atlas Soul. Yes.

Alright, so we figured out what the what the idea was. So we've already actually had four conversations. Two of them, you were here, for a two of them. We had Jonathan Begley, who was one of our guest hosts. And unfortunately, our third recording, we had some technical problems, we're gonna have to do it again, which is really upsetting. But it was a really good conversation. But what we're going to do, we're going to do that again. And we've had some great performances, we're going to have a performance today. That's we're about to record our fifth one, this will be more successful with the recording process. And we're very excited about that. But you know, there's a lot of there's a lot of things going on with with this. But not only with this, you are doing a project right now you do several projects. Right now, I want to quickly talk about that. So people know what's going on.

Ronnie 5:32 Yeah. May has been a coincidentally a few things going on. What are the two projects? Oh,

Chuck 5:38 Acadia.

Ronnie 5:39 Yeah. So this is something that sort of fell in my lap few months ago. And I've always wanted to write music for film, and sort of, whether it's a commercial or TV or, you know, full length picture. And so I had this opportunity to actually write some music for a small documentary from the National Park Service on Acadia National Park, because it's the centennial. That's 100 years, Chuck.

Chuck 6:09 Thank you.

Ronnie 6:11 And 1916 It was founded, it's a beautiful park up in mid Maine area, Bar Harbor, Bah Hahbah. Anyway, so taking a stab at it. There's a partner of mine now named Kevin Oates. It's pretty cool. He's a director of these kids basically, that come to his school and perform all over. So he's more of a traditional composer, cellist actually - great music theory and has like a really good background and composition. I do not, I think we write similarly in we sort of write by ear, and we sort of hear things and perform things that we like, and we're trying our best to meld those two styles. So that's that project. And I'm just recording a couple tunes with our buddy Allison, Allison Keslow. And Jen, Kearny, who's, who's actually here today, she's going to sing she did sing on an old tune that I wrote a long time ago. And so anyway, we just got the bug to record again, because we went frankly, with with you and The Butler Frogs. It was like, wow, technology's pretty amazing. And we can actually make some make some music.

Yeah. Well, we're working with the great Sir David Minihan, of Woolly Mammoth Studios, and, and a Woolly Mammoth Sound, I believe it is. And it's the funnest thing I ever do in my life. It's so great to go into that studio and record and so we had The Butler Frogs, I've been recording, we got an EP coming out soon. But so on top of that, you've got those two songs that you just went in for? I don't know, you've been there, what, four days or something like that. doing that. And so, yeah, it's it's busy. And then you've also, you know, you're you're a physician, as well. We both have day jobs.

It's a new project.

Chuck 7:56 Yeah. Saving human beings from their own follies. It's been a busy month. And that's why Jonathan had to step in for you a couple times, because you do so. So great. So, but the goal is we're going to have at least two a month, I'm being more optimistic about maybe doing more, but we're going to try and, and get enough to, to keep it on it. We're going to be it'll be published on a regular basis. We get it on iTunes, you'll be able to subscribe to us. We have a website abovethebasement.com. We're on Twitter, we're on Instagram. We're also on Facebook. I believe we're going to have a blimp.

Ronnie 8:34 Right, right. Yeah, I think we're on email, we actually

Chuck 8:38 We're on email we have a we have a mailing list. We haven't mailed out anybody yet to anybody. But we are excited we'll get so will be will be going live in June in theory.

Ronnie 8:48 You know, we should mention to Chuck is that what I think it was an unexpected thing so far is that we have a photographer two photographers that are actually, you know, we're here taking pictures of us for the website and everything. And it was very cool. You can maybe describe who they are, of course, with your, your connection to them. But you know, I think it's a neat idea that they can actually shoot the guests, because they're going to change every time. And I like that I like the fact that they're there. They seem like they're interested.

Chuck 9:15 Yeah, it's been there. They're fantastic. It's Joe Wallace from Joe Wallace, Photography. And also, Michelle Gendreau, I believe that's how you pronounce your last name. They're both fantastic people. And they work together and have been taking some phenomenal pictures. It's been it's so great to have them here. So they'll be here in a little bit. I'd also like to thank Woods Hill Table we were recording here. This is a great restaurant in Concord, Massachusetts. And so we're lucky enough to come in here when they're closed. And we have a great space, but it's right next to the train station. So occasionally, you may hear a train go by, you may hear people taking pictures in the background, we don't really worry about it being a quiet background to a certain extent. So you may hear some people from the peanut gallery in the back making some noise. Right now it's just me and around here.

Ronnie 10:06

Hi Chuck So you know, we did the first the very first recording we did of this... ...was in the basement.

Chuck 10:14 ... was in my basement.

Ronnie 10:15 Wait was that before we had the name Above The Basement?

Chuck 10:17 No we had the basement No we had the name

Ronnie 10:19 Oh, okay,

Chuck 10:20 I'm pretty sure

Ronnie 10:21 because since then we've we've become well.

Chuck and Ron 10:24 Above The Basement.

Chuck 10:25 Very good, very good, clever. And, and we cursed a lot in that one. And and that was the one of the questions was do we curse in our, in our podcast,

Ronnie 10:34 I said **** no.

Chuck 10:34 I'll have to bleep that out. So we haven't cursed up until now.

Ronnie 10:41 sorry.

Chuck 10:42 So I think we'll let let it go where it goes. But we're not cursers, we don't curse very, very much. And so. And also what's been interesting, the whole art of the conversation is something that we're getting kind of getting used to. So we kind of in our first few we've approached it like trying to be as prepared as possible. And, you know, the beauty of this is that it's not live. So we can edit out any kind of dead air and things like that, or anything that we just, you know, just trying to keep it within half an hour, you know, window, we don't want to do can't we can't go too long. But we want to was my point of it was this thing.

Ronnie 11:19 You were saying that we were? We're going to curse a lot?

Chuck 11:23 No.

Ronnie 11:24 No, we don't curse.

Chuck 11:25 Oh, we're gonna know how we were going to approach the conversation. And it's really kind of turned into, you know, we have questions prepared. We have questions, just in case. But for the most part, it's pretty organic. I mean, it's it's, it's the people we've had on so far has been phenomenal conversationalists, they have a lot of good stories, they're very open to talking about a lot of different things. And so it's been, it's kind of gone in different directions as we've been talking to them. So

Ronnie 11:52 Well, I think too, is that, you know, when you interview, when you hear interviews on the radio, or on other podcasts, it's fascinating to hear musicians talk and you know, other producers and people in the music field and actors, you know, people in the arts, because what they're typically known for is not that they're not someone that you know, is you have like a politician on the radio, you have someone who you know, a professor or maybe even like a restaurant owner or something like that. You don't typically have someone who sings and writes music talk to you. And and I think it's a it's just a simple concept. Yeah. And so I like that about this, that it is a conversation. And you can certainly ask interview like questions, right? Yeah, so let me we're sort of like a person. It's just a personality showcase. Almost.

Chuck 12:43 Yeah. And you know, when you're on radio and you're on live radio, you're, you're limited, you can only ask certain questions, you got to get it, you have to get a certain amount of information out. Right. And when you know, in that minute that they have to talk to you to the DJ, we don't we have the luxury of talking about whatever the heck we want to talk about. And we have we've had some you know,

Ronnie 13:02 and for your listeners right now, we just started we're going to talk for another hour and a half.

Chuck 13:09 They just lucky they we don't have a beer in us yet. You'd be correcting my English and everything, my grammar.

Ronnie 13:15 No cursing and no beer.

Chuck 13:16 Well, you've already ruined that are in the first part. So anyway, so yeah, so we have a lot of people lined up, we're very excited about this. I think this is going to be really interesting to do. And hopefully people start listening. No one's listening yet but when you do tell your friends and subscribe and so we can quit our day jobs or at least I can - Ron has to save lives, I'm not saving lives. Alright, so that's it. Anything else you want to say?

Ronnie 13:41 Well the only thing I was going to say is that we are playing this Thursday but that is not going to mean anything in four weeks from now

Chuck 13:47 so check out TheButlerFrogs.com and you can see when we're playing and it will also have more information about you know gigs and when our EP comes out and things like that and make sure you whenever we have a musician on here any kind of talent buy whatever they're selling buy their LP preferably their LP first if you buy if you have a record player go get one if you don't but by their LP buy their CD, download their stuff, support your local musicians certainly listen to them on Spotify and and Pandora and stuff like that, but you really gotta buy buy directly from the artist and support your support your artists as they're traveling and playing for you because that's that's, that's a livelihood. So. All right. All right. We'll see you later. Bye.